Dodgers don’t HAVE a deal with Manny, but are VERY CLOSE to one

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.

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  • Marcel

    Tony,

    This is great news! However, I’m tired of reading people talk about the ‘shaky’ pitching staff. Yes, losing Derek Lowe’s innings will hurt. But, Randy Wolf – when healthy – is a very good pitcher in his own right. Then, we have likely improvements from Billingsley & Kershaw, plus the steady Kuroda.

    This was one of the top pitching units in 2008, and quite frankly, I don’t see a HUGE drop-off this year.

  • krpballer

    Thanks for the update Tony. I trust your reports more than any of the major news sources.

  • ToyCannon

    This is awesome news! What a line-up the Dodgers will have, the best in the NL, top to bottom:

    Furcal
    Hudson
    Ramirez
    Ethier
    Martin
    Loney
    Kemp
    Blake

    Yes the starting pitching is suspect, but let’s not rule out a deal down the road for perhaps Roy Halliday. With Manny finally coming on board, let’s play ball & win the pennant!

  • Dave R.

    Marcel – that’s the problem “when healthy” in reference to Randy Wolf. He’s tossed 190 innings ONCE since 2003 and that was last season. Can he do it again? Perhaps, but he’s still a question mark.

    Kershaw has great upside, but is he ready to throw 180 consistent innings at his age? Not sure…

    Billingsley’s leg seems fine, so probably no issue there.

    Kuroda should be fine, but there are some shoulder concerns there.

    Fifth spot is a toss-up between Schmidt and a bunch of other bums.

    “Huge” drop-off? Not likely, but make no mistake, Lowe was a big loss.

  • Marcel

    ToyCannon,

    Please elaborate why the starting rotation is ‘suspect.’

    With the exception of Lowe, everyone who contributed positively to last year’s staff is still with the team, which was near the top last year in terms of ERA.

  • http://www.firenedcollettinow.com/ kensai

    Because Lowe was worth like 4 marginal wins last year.

  • Jackie

    Swap Ramirez for Ethier, Cannon, and Ethier will have a monster year.

    Sign Pedro and were o.k. till the all-star break
    Then trade for a #2…

  • LASteve

    Only in Hollywood, the new Dodgers Soap….

    Stay tuned for tomorrow’s episode

    Will he…won’t he…will Frank…will the Mustache…

    Yikes…will this be a bad movie of the week or what!

  • ToyCannon

    Starting pitching is suspect:

    Billingsley: broke leg in off season
    Kuroda: has won only 9 major league games, has shoulder problems
    Kershaw: only 20 yrs. old; has won 5 major league games
    Wolf: recent history of injury problems
    Schmidt: hasn’t pitched in 2 yrs.; injury problems galore
    Milton: injury problems
    Estes: another washed up bum
    Vargas: career minor leaguer

    Signing Pedro is not a bad idea at all. But with Manny in house that lineup is as good as it gets in the NL: Dodgers can now go to war with the horses they have; take our chances having that lineup with those starters.

  • TimboAg

    Thanks for the update Tony!

    And thanks above all else for being the most accurate and consistent source throughout all of this. Hopefully by tomorrow morning we can celebrate and then FINALLY move on to the new season.

  • grumpy3b

    I don’t see any point in bring PMartinez back to the Dodgers. At this point he is no more a sure thing than Schmidt. Plus he has been quoted as saying no way he wants to play badly enough to sign a deal like Glavine:

    http://www.bostonherald.com/sports/baseball/other_mlb/view.bg?articleid=1155893&srvc=sports&position=recent

    I just do not see it benefiting the team to bring in another ego like PMartinez…he’s a great and I said it when they made the trade, I told a friend that day “…they traded the wrong Martinez…” at the time the had a choice of including Pedro or his brother Ramon…Ramon never looked durable and Pedro was looking like the best thing since Cy Young. But now, nope, he is just another arm waiting to fall off at the elbow or shoulder after every throw…plus when a player starts yammers the word “disrespected” do you really want a player around who feels earning $1,000,000.00+ for one season of baseball at the very end of his career, is somehow a put down…naw, din’t think so.

  • D’Accardo42

    Agreed with TimboAg. You, and your blog are the shit!

  • Jackie

    Grumpy, Dodgers never had a choice of trading Pedro or Ramon for Deshields….

  • Buddy

    Well,
    The Dodgers can now trade Juan Pierre for some starting pitching. They will have to eat a lot of his contract, however which is completely worth it given the fact he’ll never see the outfield again.

    The Dodgers will not sign Pedro Martinez. It’s a bad idea and he’s nearly done.

  • sick_boy_76

    Thanks Tony,
    And as far as the pitching staff goes.. it was suspect last year even with Lowe, and you could go back even to 06 when Penny started to tank. There alot of true #1 pitchers in the NL west and none of them are Dodgers. Havent been in a while. No garbage about potential here either! Bills is my fave, but he hasnt proved himself to be the ace weve needed DESPERATELY for a while now. The 09 staff isnt too far behind the 08 staff and they need to make up 12 wins for lowe. It can be done, but they are still one ace away from being a real WS contender.

  • Marcel

    ToyCannon,

    “Billingsley: broke leg in off season”

    Considering he’s healed and has been pitching effectively in the spring, this is a non-issue.

    “Kuroda: has won only 9 major league games, has shoulder problems”

    Kuroda had poor run support last year. And besides, wins and losses aren’t exactly the best way to evaluate a pitcher when there are so many other factors that play into it. At least with ERA (Kuroda’s was very good), it gives you an idea of a pitcher’s ability. Until his shoulder proves to be an issue (he last missed a start in June 2008), this is another non-factor.

    “Kershaw: only 20 yrs. old; has won 5 major league games”

    Again with the wins and losses (see above). You forgot to mention that a) he turns 21 in a couple weeks (same age Billingsley started in the pros); b) he throws 95 MPH consistently; and c) he has a devastating curve.

    So far, your ‘arguments’ have been more suspect than the alleged rotation’s.

    “Wolf: recent history of injury problems”

    OK, but he also pitched pretty great for Houston down the stretch – with no major injury problems. And since he’s further removed from TJ surgery, it’s likely that his stuff is closer to peak form.

    “Schmidt: hasn’t pitched in 2 yrs.; injury problems galore”

    If Schmidt is able to pitch, fine. If not, there’s always James McDonald, who is clearly ready for a big role.

    “Milton: injury problems”
    “Estes: another washed up bum”
    “Vargas: career minor leaguer”

    Mostly AAA fodder – it would be surprising if any of these guys actually started for the Dodgers for any length of time.

  • ToyCannon

    Obviously, marcel, you don’t know what suspect means. Everything I indicated about the starting pitching is true which makes the starting pitching questionable–even all baseball experts agree that the Dodgers starting pitching is suspect: there are no solid number ones or number twos in their rotation. Wake up.

  • ToyCannon

    marcel: read Bill Plascke’s column in the LA Times today: “both the Dodger rotation and bullpen are suspect…” Bam!