I have been trying to come up with an analogy for this whole thing, and the best I could do was this: It’s like a messy divorce, where the two parents are fighting over custody of their only child, each one believing they have the moral high ground and each one trying to paint the other as unfit — but nobody ever stops and asks the kid what HE wants, which parent he wants to live with, etc. In this case, the kid is Manny Ramirez, and it would seem to me that this story has blown up over the past three days in a way that what MANNY wants has been all but ignored. It’s all about what Frank McCourt and Scott Boras want, and they each seem to want to emerge from this thing victorious over the other. Meanwhile, the player, the guy who conceivably could make the Dodgers a 100-win team this year, continues to wait, 2,000 miles away, and spring training goes on without him. Opening day is now 37 days away.
And that, according to two well-placed sources with knowledge of the situation, is where the whole thing broke down. This sources also said Boras never openly objected to any proposal by the Dodgers of deferred money, which general manager Ned Colletti said earlier this morning has been part of all three of the formal contract offers the Dodgers have made to Ramirez this winter.
Here’s the story, as I understand it:
At the end of Wednesday’s meeting at Dodger Stadium, it was made clear to Boras that while there was no firm deadline, club officials expected to hear back from him in response to their two-year, $45 million offer, and that they only wanted to hear one of two possible answers: yes or no.
Instead, Boras came back to them with a counter proposal of increasing the offer to two years and $55 million, a deal that would carry an average annual value of $27.5 million — the exact same AAV carried by the 10-year, $275 million contract of Alex Rodriguez, another Boras client. Because the deferred money would be deferred WITHOUT INTEREST, the extra $10 million would theoretically offset the absence of interest on the deferred money.
There is a precedent for money deferred without interest because of a portion of the one-year, $3.38 million contract free-agent second baseman Orlando Hudson signed with the Dodgers last weekend is also largely deferred without interest.
Given that the Dodgers already believed they were offering $45 million MORE THAN ANY OTHER TEAM HAD OFFERED RAMIREZ, there was no way they were going to increase their offer by another $10 million. So the Dodgers pulled their offer, and there is presently NO OFFER ON THE TABLE. And the perception that the two sides have now agreed on the value of the deal, two years and $45 million, and are now only haggling on the amount of deferred money, is totally false, according to these sources.
The negotiations are presently at square one: meaning no offer on the table. Dodgers are still interested in signing the player and still interested in negotiating. But it doesn’t look like this is headed for a quick resolution.
That’s it. They just talked. Nothing new came out of it. Not sure whether they’re going to talk again later today or not. … Dodgers are getting killed by the Mariners. Shawn Estes, who is allegedly a candidate for the fifth spot in the rotation, gave up seven runs (five earned) on six hits in 1 1/3 innings. But the whole team looks bad. Couple of errors, a baserunning mistake by Matt Kemp, the obligatory popped-up bunt by Juan Pierre. You get the picture. Mariners leading 8-0, middle 5.
Here’s the release:
CAMELBACK RANCH – GLENDALE – The Los Angeles Dodgers announced today that the club will provide live video streams of 11 Spring Training games exclusively on dodgers.com. Starting on March 4, fans can watch games online free of charge against opponents including the San Francisco Giants, Chicago White Sox, a World Baseball Classic Asian Qualifying Team, the Arizona Diamondbacks, and the Chicago Cubs (St. Patrick’s Day).
In addition, the Dodgers will continue to post daily webisodes for fans, titled “Inside Dodgertown,” on dodgers.com. The four-minute videos, available in the Video Corner area of the dodgers.com homepage, give fans highlights from the day’s workouts and games and provide exclusive behind-the-scenes footage and commentary from Dodger players, coaches, and staff.
The Dodgers are playing their first Spring Training season from their new Cactus League home at Camelback Ranch – Glendale this year. The first-rate facility, which the Dodgers share with the Chicago White Sox, includes more than 118,000 square feet of Major and Minor League clubhouse space, 13 full baseball fields, and three half-fields. The site also features picturesque walking trails, landscaped grounds, two ponds, and a fully-stocked lake. The Dodgers will play a total of 15 home games at the ballpark, as well as two road games against the Chicago White Sox. Fans can purchase tickets to games at Camelback Ranch – Glendale at dodgers.com or by calling (480) 784-4444.
The complete live streaming video schedule of Dodger games follows:
March 4 vs. San Francisco
March 5 vs. Chicago White Sox
March 7 vs. Seattle
March 10 vs. Arizona
March 12 vs. WBC Asian Qualifier
March 13 vs. Texas
March 17 vs. Chicago Cubs
March 19 vs. Colorado Rockies
March 27 vs. Kansas City
March 29 vs. San Diego
March 30 vs. Oakland
And this is going back to the Dodgers’ first offer last fall.
“Deferred comp (compensation) was part of the deal from the very beginning,” Colletti said.
He added that was the case even with the one-year, $25 million offer the Dodgers made to Ramirez on Feb. 1.
“We didn’t get into (specifics), but we said `with a deferred component.’ We barely got the words out of our mouths before it was rejected.”
Colletti said he left Scott Boras two voicemail messages this morning and has yet to hear back from him. Colletti wouldn’t acknowledge that there was a noon deadline.
Ned also said this:
“I have asked Scott many times to tell us where we are at, what we are bidding against, to tell us what we have to meet. We have yet to be told what the parameters are.”
On another note, Jason Schmidt got roughed up in the B game. Actually, it was more a matter of control. He threw 21 pitches, only 10 of which were strikes, and the inning was ended after a walk to Jermaine Dye because Schmidt had reached his pitch limit.