02.28.09

Exactly How Much Would Frank McCourt Like To Charge Manny Ramirez To Play Baseball?

Posted in Baseball at 1:35 pm by

While at least one columnist reports Scott Boras has demanded an additional $10 million (on top of the prior $45 million proposed over two years) from the Dodgers in order to deliver Manny Ramirez to spring training, an item in Saturday’s LA Times suggests the counter offer isn’t purely down to greed on the part of player and agent.  Could it be that Dodgers ownership simply won’t have the loot to make payroll?

The fine print of Boras’ proposed deal was significantly different from McCourt’s in that it requested that no part of Ramirez’s salary be deferred. McCourt wanted to defer most of Ramirez’s salary, according to a source with knowledge of the situation who spoke on the condition of anonymity because negotiations were still in progress.

Under the terms of the contract that Ramirez was offered by the Dodgers on Wednesday, he would have received $10 million this year. And by exercising the option for the second year of the deal, he would’ve received $10 million in 2010.

Ramirez would have been paid the remaining $25 million over the next three years without any added interest. He would’ve received $10 million in 2011, $10 million in 2012 and $5 million in 2013.

Asked if the Dodgers had any problems with cash flow or concerns about their projected revenues that would deter them from paying Ramirez’s entire salary in the year it was earned, spokesman Charles Steinberg replied, “I have no idea.”

Colletti acknowledged Friday that the Dodgers’ offer included deferred payments but refused to detail them.

“The deferred component was part of the deal from the very beginning,” Colletti said.

Boras acknowledged that, saying it was why he asked for more money in his initial counterproposal to the Dodgers’ latest offer. Boras requested a two-year, $55-million contract that included a player option for the second year, according to sources.

The Times’ Brian Kamenetzky has had just about enough of this story, writing “Like ’24′ somewhere around the middle of Season 5, I’ve officially lost patience with this program.”

I’m tired of sources close to the negotiations and individuals with knowledge of the situation, all speaking in shadows like Deep Throat in a parking garage. As much as I want the Blue to be competitive and interesting — it’s a lot more fun to be around the park when the team is competitive and interesting, and they risk being neither without ManRam — I’m this close to hoping some other team swoops in with a last-minute offer even if it means Boras is vindicated when it’s done.  At least the ending will have a twist.

If you had told Frank McCourt he could have Manny back next season for somewhere in the neighborhood of two years/$45 million, he’d have jumped on it in a heartbeat.  As my dad likes to tell me, the enemy of good is better. Don’t be greedy and overplay the hand.  It’s OK to overbid on Manny if it means the nearly four million folks who fill the stadium and buy jerseys and wigs and pony up for parking will have good reason to make up the difference, especially when the payroll will be lower than last season’s even with Manny on board.

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