Friday, February 27, 2009

Manny Ramirez: The Endless Saga Continues...

Chalk it up to Manny being Manny, right? Or maybe it's just Boras being Boras.

But last night, Manny Ramirez rejected the Dodgers latest offer, which was their fourth proposal so far (counting arbitration). The Dodgers reportedly offered Manny a 2 year/$45 million dollar contract, which is nearly identical to the deal the Dodgers offered Ramirez a few months ago. However, the difference this time was that only the first year was guaranteed, which would give Ramirez the ability to opt out in 2010 if the market rebounded.

This deal in theory would have given Manny an opportunity to become the 2nd highest paid player in baseball this season and possibly get another huge contract next season. Sounds too good to be true, right?

Well, wrong. Because when it came down to it, Boras and Manny decided not to accept the Dodgers offer. How could they do this?

The answer is simple. Right now, the Dodgers need Manny more than Manny needs the Dodgers. It's that simple. The Dodgers have played it cool so far, patiently waiting for Boras and Manny to get their act together, but with March rapidly approaching, the Dodgers need to have Ramirez in the fold. Without Manny, the Dodgers are toast.

All along the concept remained the same: the Dodgers need Manny and Manny needs the Dodgers...what's taking so long? But now we know why: Boras is convinced that the Dodgers, now out of viable options, will cave into Ramirez's demands...or else. Would it be out the question to see Ramirez hold out until April? He's held out this far...why not another month!

Boras is in complete control of these negotiations. The Dodgers cannot simply say, "we're done with Manny Ramirez" right now. Their fan base will not have it. The Dodgers need to stay in the Ramirez sweepstakes and come away with Ramirez....or else. Boras knows this and is trying to exploit the Dodgers for every last penny they have until Ramirez gets the contract he wants.

Boras is trying to build a market for Manny even where is no market. Boras is hoping that a team like the Giants suddenly gets motivated to get in on the Manny sweepstakes, especially seeing how long and drawn out these negotiations have become. Or Boras is hoping that the Dodgers will big against nobody and ultimately give into Ramirez's demands. Holding out is putting more and more power into Boras's hands.

In the end, I still think these two sides will come together. Manny does not have any other serious suitors out there, and for that, he needs the Dodgers. But by playing it cool, Boras is taking a risk that the best offer has not been thrown out there yet by the Dodgers. It's quite a risk, considering how generous the Dodgers' offers have been thus far and how bad the economy is.

My question is this: does anyone actually think Manny will be able to get a better contract than this? Will the Dodgers have to commit three years to get Manny to sign on the dotted line?

And when will this saga finally end? Somehow I can't help but think that the Manny Marathon is nowhere close to completion. Oy.


Anonymous said...

He doesn't need a better contract that that. He just needs a contract offer that is roughly the same, but with a symbolic addition (say, $47 mil instead of $45 or something like that) that allows him to spite the Dodgers for disrespecting him without losing face. That's my guess anyway.

Anonymous said...

What McCourt and the rest of the Owners need is a course in professional negotiating....Learn how to out Boras Boras....Haven't enough teams laid out mis-spent megabucks to this guys client..HELLO WAKE UP....Baseball and the Dodgers will survive w/o Manny until Manny signs whats offered...If he wants to sit out a year ..let him...Ask Scotty Boy how much his % is of nothing..All this being said let it be known I'm a lifelong bleed Dodger Blue kinda guy (50 years)but Hey guess what Manny ..Life goes on without you....Ross

Jorge Says No! said...

Anon: I don't think he needs a better contract either, especially after hearing today that all Manny wants is for the back end money not to be deferred...maybe something will actually get done now.

ross: The Dodgers could have sent a strong message to Manny by signing either Adam Dunn or Abreu when they had the chance. But now, those guys are off the board and unless you feel comfortable with Juan Pierre playing everyday, the Dodgers need Manny Ramirez in the heart of their order. I think the Dodgers would be somewhat competitive without Ramirez, but there is no doubt that they are better team with him around.

thanks for the great comments guys

Anonymous said...

Manny has already said that he doesn't intend on missing out on the opportunity to build up his stats. At what point does he pull an AROD and go to the Dodgers without Boras and work out his own deal.

Manny is Manny, but he really can't expect to get much more than he's already been the only team that has put down a serious offer.