PHOENIX -- Chances are if the Dodgers are ever going to make a deal with Manny Ramirez, the most experienced deal makers in the organization -- owners Frank and Jamie McCourt -- will be the ones making it.

Dealing directly with owners has become one of the edges that Ramirez's agent, Scott Boras, holds over many of his colleagues, particularly when it comes to selling big names for huge dollars. In this case, however, Boras and the McCourts have a chilly relationship from deals past gone sour. That's as good a reason as any to explain why there's been so little negotiating in this standoff.

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In the meantime, general manager Ned Colletti and manager Joe Torre are doing what they can, as they explained on Friday at a press conference marking the first day of the Dodgers' first Spring Training at Camelback Ranch-Glendale.

Colletti continues to speak regularly with Boras after virtually no contact the first two months of the winter.

"There's been some progress made, but obviously not enough to consummate a deal," said Colletti. "We're both clear on why we stand where we stand. Three months ago, it was guesswork more than anything else."

So, the Dodgers know that Ramirez wants a deal of at least four years in length at a salary in the Alex Rodriguez, $27.5 million-per-year neighborhood. And Ramirez knows the Dodgers will pay him $25 million for one year and $45 million for two years, but they don't want a long-term commitment with Ramirez turning 37 in May and no designated-hitter role available.

Torre continues to speak with Ramirez, having called him on Tuesday.

"He was his usual upbeat self," Torre said. "I've told him a number of times to do what's best for his family. He's admitted he was comfortable playing in L.A. It comes down to satisfying both parties. You like to believe there's a lot of romance, but he's looking for length. I definitely would be very surprised if he wasn't a Dodger, but is that any insight? No. It's just the way I want it to be. In our situation, he was a good fit and I expect him to continue to be."

Torre said a holdout into Spring Training "won't be a big issue for him. I'm not worried about that, not the way he works. Spring Training is for getting in shape."

Colletti sidestepped a question about the Dodgers reaching a point where they would move on without Ramirez.

"We're not there yet," he said.

The club actually is believed to be prepared to wait out Ramirez indefinitely. After all, they didn't have him last season until July 31.

"There haven't been many days when it's not an internal discussion," Colletti said of the Ramirez situation. "It's obviously a prominent discussion."