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LA wary but 'hopeful' of signing Manny

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1LA wary but 'hopeful' of signing Manny Empty LA wary but 'hopeful' of signing Manny on Thu 23 Oct 2008, 9:48 pm

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LOS ANGELES -- Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said the club has made no decision on what to offer free agent outfielder Manny Ramirez.
An SI.com report, citing "a person who's spoken to Dodgers people," suggested that the team is considering proposing a contract that may come close to matching Alex Rodriguez's record $27.5-million annual salary but on a term of perhaps two years.

"We have not made a decision on either term or dollars," Colletti said Thursday. "I'm sure we'll get together with Scott [Boras, Ramirez's agent] soon and see what their interest is and we'll explain our interest. We haven't had any conversation with him yet, nor have we decided our position at this point."

Chairman Frank McCourt, Colletti and manager Joe Torre last week said the club was interested in bringing back Ramirez, who can file for free agency after the conclusion of the World Series.

"From the scuttlebutt I get," said Torre, "it will take some length to sign [Ramirez] and I think you have to think hard about that. He was certainly an 'A,' No. 1 citizen and I enjoyed having him here. To say I don't want him back, I'd be crazy. When you're a free agent, you're not doing yourself justice without seeing what's out there."

SI.com reported the Dodgers were "disinclined" to grant Ramirez's wish for a five- or six-year contract, because a six-year deal would take Ramirez to the age of 42. It's assumed around baseball that only American League clubs, which utilize the designated hitter, would be candidates.

"A lot depends on the player's desire," Colletti said last week. "It's a two-way street."

In an interview with Los Angeles radio station 710 ESPN, club chairman Frank McCourt said he was "hopeful" the club and Ramirez could reach an agreement, but also noted Ramirez's comments about going to the "highest bidder" and comments from agent Scott Boras that Ramirez "pays for himself" through revenue generation.

"We're definitely interested in bringing the player back," McCourt said, repeating comments he made a week ago. "I hope I've made that as clear as I possibly can, but I'm also aware of comments the player has made. He's entitled to go where he wants. And I was there ... I saw how our fans embraced Manny. Personally, he played great, he seemed very happy to me."

Ramirez just finished an eight-year, $160 million contract.

After his acquisition from Boston in a three-team trade for Andy LaRoche and Bryan Morris, Ramirez hit .396 with 17 home runs and 53 RBIs in 53 games. On the season, he hit .332 with 37 home runs and 121 RBIs and during the postseason, he hit .520 with four home runs and 10 RBIs.


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