Ned Colletti says deferred money was always part of the negotiations

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.

This changes everything

You have no doubt seen the numerous reports that are out there this morning that the Dodgers’ two-year, $45 million offer to Manny Ramirez was largely deferred money. He would receive $10 million this year, with the other $15 million deferred, and $10 million NEXT year and the other $10 million deferred. If Manny had exercised the option year, he would have gotten $10 million in each of 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2012 and $5 million in 2013. And here is the kicker to the whole thing: BORAS/MANNY WOULD HAVE ACCEPTED THE OFFER if it had actually been what we all originally reported it was, a straight $25 million this year, a straight $20 million for 2010, with an opt-out after the first year. Given all of that, it’s no wonder they didn’t take the deal. The wonder is that the Dodgers wasted their time making an offer that they HAD TO KNOW wouldn’t be accepted. Why would they do that, you ask? Well, now Frank McCourt gets to say to his fan base, “Hey, I tried.” Well, no, Frank, you really didn’t.

The trouble with Scott Boras

One aspect of this whole Manny fiasco that has been underreported is that the Dodgers’ recent history with Scott Boras clients clearly is playing a role here. Just since Frank McCourt bought the team in February 2004, the list is long, and it doesn’t even count the Kevin Brown and Darren Dreifort contracts, which were signed long before Frank and Jamie ever came to town.

Adrian Beltre — Following an MVP-caliber year for the Dodgers in 2004 (he finished second in voting), Beltre becomes a free agent. Dodgers believed they had a promise from Boras to give them a chance to match any offers from any other clubs. That chance to match never comes before Beltre signs a five-year $64 million offer with Seattle. By missing out on Beltre, the Dodgers have enough to money to sign another Boras-represented free agent in right fielder J.D. Drew. More on that later.

Eric Gagne — Two years after winning the Cy Young Award by converting 55 of 55 save opportunities, and one year after taking the club to arbitration, losing and having to accept a $5 million salary for 2004 instead of $8 million, Gagne agrees to terms on a two-year, $19 million deal to avoid arbitration. Gagne blows out his elbow in 2005 and makes a grand total of 16 major-league appearances over the life of the contract.

Luke Hochevar — The Dodgers’ first-round draft pick in 2005, a pitcher from the University of Tennessee who is being advised by Boras, who is insisting on a signing bonus of at least $3 million. After almost three months of stalled negotiations, Hochevar abruptly dumps Boras, chooses another agent and agrees to a $2.98 million signing bonus. But before the Dodgers can get a scout to Knoxville with a contract for Hochevar to sign, Hochevar just as abruptly drops his new agent, returns to Boras and goes into hiding. He never signs with Dodgers, re-enters the draft the following year and signs a major-league deal with Kansas City for four years, $5.3 million.

J.D. Drew — In giving him an ill-advised five-year, $55 million contract before the 2005 season, money the Dodgers never would have had to spend if they had re-signed Beltre, the Dodgers allow Boras to negotiate into the deal an opt-out clause after the second season. Drew misses most of 2005 with an injury, returns in 2006 to drive in 100 runs, then tells Orange County Register beat reporter Bill Plunkett at the end of that season that he has no plans to exercise the out clause. A month later, Boras informs the Dodgers that Drew WILL exercise the out clause. Drew eventually signs with Boston for five years, $70 million.

Andruw Jones — A year after Drew’s departure, the Dodgers sign Andruw Jones, another Boras client, to play center field. Jones, a 10-time Gold Glove winner and five-time All-Star, agrees to a two-year, $36.2 million deal. Jones then showed up to spring training overweight and promptly hit .158 with three homers and 14 RBI and missed significant time following knee surgery. A few weeks ago, the Dodgers renegotiated the second year of the deal to defer most of the salary, then released Jones.

In fairness to Boras, not all of the Dodgers’ dealings with his clients have gone so badly. Derek Lowe was their most reliable starting pitcher during the course of his four-year, $36 million contract, which expired after last year. Greg Maddux pitched well in each of his two abbreviated stints with the club. And of course, without acquiring Ramirez last July 31 (he was now a Boras client), the Dodgers probably wouldn’t have turned around their season and gone all the way to the N.L. Championship Series. But my point here is that the Dodgers have been burned repeatedly in their dealings with Boras and his clients. Rightly or wrongly, fairly or unfairly, that is playing a role in these ongoing Manny negotiations. If their track record with Boras clients hadn’t been so spotty in recent years, it is entirely possible the club wouldn’t be taking such a hard line in these negotiations. But you know the old saying about ifs and buts and candy and nuts.