WEDNESDAY, 11:45pm: I was just thinking, this contract offer is not unlike A.J. Burnett's opt-out clause. The Dodgers would have Manny on a one-year, $25MM deal, plus an option that cannot possibly work in their favor.
7:29pm: Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports makes a good observation:
Boras did not immediately accept the offer, but a source said he delivered the offer to his client – a sign of progress because the first two offers were dismissed immediately by Boras.
7:18pm: Dylan Hernandez of the L.A. Times says the player option came at Boras' request.
7:05pm: Jackson reports that the Dodgers have offered Manny a two-year, $45MM contract.
From what I understand, though, there WON'T be a deal tonight, Jackson writes. The offer is a two-year, $45 million contract, with salaries of $25 million the first year and $20 million the second, but the second year is a PLAYER option so Manny can walk away if he believes he can get more on the open market next winter. If he is injured during the first season, the second year becomes guaranteed. Boras and Co. have taken it under advisement, and the club is expecting a response early tomorrow.
6:12pm: Tony Jackson of the Los Angeles Daily News chimes in:
Gurnick wrote earlier today that they are meeting, and I have been able to semi-confirm that, as well as semi-confirm the fact that said meeting is taking place at Dodger Stadium. What I can tell you, from my own observations, is that people are behaving strangely, or at least at odds with their normal behavior. This could be it, folks. Stay tuned. It might be a long evening.
5:38pm: Gurnick has made an update to his most recent story.
Dodgers chairman Frank McCourt and GM Ned Colletti did, in fact, meet with agent Scott Boras during the team's first spring game Wednesday. Gurnick calls it "the most serious attempt to date to sign" Ramirez.
4:37pm: MLB.com's Ken Gurnick notes that Dodgers GM Ned Colletti was absent from the team's first exhibition game. Might be Manny-related; might not.
9:08am: ESPN's Buster Olney believes Manny Ramirez remains unsigned because of his behavior in Boston:
The primary reason for [the lack of interest in Manny], unquestionably, is the sport-wide perception that he did not honor his contract in Boston, and went to extraordinary depths to get himself out of that contract. These are not the on-background musings of a couple of rogue scouts, or the chortlings of conspiracy-theorist sports writers. This is the cemented belief of many executives with many teams, reinforced by Ramirez's sudden transformation into a high-energy player as soon as he moved from the Red Sox to the Dodgers.
In my opinion, the primary interest for the limited Manny interest is his asking price. At a time when solid corner outfielders are signing for $10MM per year tops, Manny wants more than twice that salary and at least three years guaranteed. I think if Ramirez and Boras were willing to take a reasonable two-year, $30MM deal, there'd be five more teams in on him.