How close depends on whom you talk to, and I am not even close to being at liberty to tell you whom I have been talking to, but basically, here’s the deal:
Manny IS on his way to Los Angeles tonight, just as Enrique Rojas reported on ESPN. Manny IS willing to accept some form of what the Dodgers offered him last Wednesday, a two-year, $45 million deal with $25 million the first year, $20 million the second year and an opt-out. That offer IS back on the table, even though it has been taken off the table last week. But there is no actual agreement in place YET, because Dodgers officials want to meet with Manny face to face, presumably tomorrow morning, before making this thing happen. Given this player’s history and the fact he didn’t get anything close to what he thought he was going to get on the open market this winter, I believe they simply want to gauge how he is dealing with that fact emotionally. Once that happens, if everybody likes what they hear, this deal will get done.
So the bottom line (literally) is this: the Dodgers, barring something unforeseen, are about to sign Manny Ramirez. And the shaky pitching staff notwithstanding, that is SHOULD make this a very good ballclub in 2009.