I’ve generally been praising the Dodgers for not bidding against themselves in the Manny Ramirez derby, but as Ken Davidoff notes, they’re pretty much out of maneuvering room:
This has not quite been Scott Boras’ finest week, but give the man credit. He can run a free agency like no other agent out there.
Remember when the Dodgers were going to reallocate their Manny resources by spending it on other top free agents? Well, suddenly, there are pretty much no other top free agents left. Bobby Abreu is an Angel, Adam Dunn is a National and Ben Sheets is a no-go. Orlando Hudson? Nice, but more of a complementary player.
The Dodgers have lost Ramirez, Derek Lowe, Brad Penny and Takashi Saito from the club that qualified for the National League Championship Series for the first time since 1988. They have imported Randy Wolf, a decent, back-end-of-the-rotation starting pitcher. They need Manny, for baseball reasons and for attendance/fan good will reasons. How quickly can they get it done? And will the Giants put up a bona fide threat?
On my live chat Tuesday, I told Dennis that Manny would re-sign with the Dodgers on Feb. 27. Let’s stick with that. And let’s say it’s a two-year, $48-million deal with a vesting option for a third year and another $25 million.
On one level such a deal could be spun as a fair one in that it would allow the Dodgers to say that they didn’t go back up in terms of annual salary and allows Manny to say that he improved on both his Red Sox options and the quality of the overall offers he’s been getting from L.A. But make no mistake: such a deal would be a win for Manny and an admission by L.A. that they maybe waited a bit too long.
As for the timing? I think it’s done before February 27th. In fact, I’d be surprised if it wasn’t done by next weekend.