Manny Ramirez still does not have a home. Yes, with only 9 days left until March, Ramirez and the Dodgers remain at an impasse.
My question is simple: how the hell could this be possible?
I mean, God, the two sides have been negotiating since November. That's more than three months. Memo to Scott Boras, this is a contract negotiation, not a peace agreement.
At this point, there really should not be that much to negotiate. Both sides know the other's position. Manny wants a huge mega deal. The Dodgers are willing to pay Manny (20+ mil per season), but only on a one (1 yr/$25 mil) or two year deal (2 yr/$45 mil). You would think a compromise could be worked out, but not in the world of Manny Ramirez.
Strangely, the Dodgers are Ramirez's only serious suitor. Not one other team has put an offer forward besides the Dodgers, and most of the cheaper outfield options have already signed with teams. The market for Ramirez was small at the beginning of free agency, but it has gotten even smaller as free agency has progressed.
Don't get me wrong, the Dodgers need Manny in a big way. They simply cannot afford to miss out on signing Ramirez after Adam Dunn and Bobby Abreu signed contracts. There is no fallback option. Without Ramirez, the Dodgers are screwed both on the diamond and in the pocketbook.
And Ramirez needs the Dodgers as well. They are the only team, who is willing to meet his exorbitant price tag of more than $20 million in tough economic times. Despite his immense talent, a combination of the economy and concerns over Manny's dedication have kept other teams from entering the Ramirez bidding. It's about time Manny and Scott Boras recognize this.
One would have to hope the Boras and Ramirez realize that the Dodgers offer is going to be the best they're going to get. They can continue to fool themselves into thinking that some "mystery team" is going to swoop in a sign Ramirez to a $100+ million dollar deal, but that's just not in the cards right now.
This is a marriage that needs to happen for both sides. They need each other. But when will both sides realize it?
Yet another big question remains: when will the thick headed duo of Boras and Manny finally give in to the Dodgers? A few days? Weeks? Months? Will Manny even play at all (foolish, I know) if he doesn't get the huge deal he wants? If Boras and Manny continue to hold firm, could this standoff possibly, gulp, go on for awhile? Let's hope not...
And how about this: would the Dodgers ever give into Ramirez with another year or more money? What would it take for the Dodgers to give into Ramirez? My best guess is that the Giants would have to go after Manny hard for the Dodgers to up their offer, but I doubt the Giants would enter the Manny market unless his price came down significantly. Damn!
We're well in February now people, enough is enough. Get the Manny deal done!