Manny response expected by Friday
Dodgers GM waiting to hear back after Wednesday's offer
SCOTTSDALE -- Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said he expects a response to the club's latest offer to free agent Manny Ramirez on Thursday or Friday.
Colletti, back from presenting the offer Wednesday with Los Angeles chairman Frank McCourt to agent Scott Boras, would not characterize whether the Dodgers' latest offer was the club's last one.
"Scott knows where we stand," said Colletti, who added that he had not talked to Boras since the meeting. "It could be today, it could be tomorrow."
At that Dodger Stadium meeting, the club made its fourth offer to Ramirez, guaranteeing $25 million in 2009 and $20 million in 2010 -- then at the request of Boras, made 2010 a player option that would allow Ramirez another chance at free agency after the 2009 season if the market improved.
The offer was based loosely on the Dodgers' original offer in November, also for $45 million and two years, but with a club option for a third year at $15 million and no opt-out clause for the player after the first year.
"We listened to Scott, and he wanted the ability for the player to walk after one year," Colletti said of the opt-out clause. "We feel it's a major concession. It gives Manny a lot of flexibility. In nine or 10 months, he can try the market again. That's a pretty good spot to be."
Colletti described the four-month negotiation for Ramirez as "cordial and well-intentioned on both sides," and the GM confirmed that McCourt's involvement has increased in the past two weeks. Colletti said McCourt attended another face-to-face meeting with Boras a week earlier.
"I just felt we're at the point in negotiations to hear Frank's voice," said Colletti. "We're always talking, but I think it's always more powerful when the owner and the steward of the franchise is involved and there."
Colletti said the club has made its offers public because "most times they see the light of day anyway, and I'd rather have them accurate than not."
Another possible reason is to be sure Ramirez is aware of all aspects of the offer. Some Dodgers officials believe that hasn't always happened in past free-agent cases.
Prior to Colletti's appearance at Scottsdale Stadium, manager Joe Torre said he had not been briefed on the Ramirez negotiations.
"From what I'm hearing," said Torre, "two years and the money where it is, I'd rather talk to Ned first before talking. I just got an e-mail from him yesterday saying, 'I'll see you tomorrow.' Any time you talk and make another offer and they're still listening, it's all good as far as I'm concerned."
Publicly, Torre has remained out of the negotiations while consistently praising Ramirez for his play and attitude after he was acquired last July 31. Privately, Torre has telephoned Ramirez multiple times to reassure him of the Dodgers' desire to keep him, although Torre said the last conversation was about three weeks ago.
Wednesday's offer was the club's fourth. In addition to the two-year, $45 million and option offer made at the November general managers meetings, the Dodgers offered salary arbitration in December and a one-year, $25 million offer.
Los Angeles has insisted on not offering Ramirez more than two guaranteed seasons, because he will be 37 in May and there is no designated hitter role for him to transition to. The Dodgers have also been resistent to up the dollar amount because they believe they are the only club bidding for Ramirez, even though Boras insists another club is involved.
The one club, the San Francisco Giants, reiterated Thursday that no offer for Ramirez has been made and there is no desire to get into a sweepstakes with the Dodgers.
"We haven't been asked to make an offer in the last couple of days," Giants president Larry Baer said. "I don't want to characterize it really much beyond that. It's been consistent with, quite frankly, the last few weeks. ... There's nothing really new to report from our side."We've talked about it until we're literally blue in the face -- Dodger blue in the face -- that we've been in conversation with [Boras]. ... And it hasn't been pushed beyond that." Citing Ramirez's considerable success with the Dodgers in last season's final two months and the organization's desire to bring him back, Baer said that he believes the slugger ultimately will return to Los Angeles.
"The forces of gravity may dictate that's where he ends up," Baer said.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. MLB.com's Chris Haft contributed to this report. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.