Ramírez, Dodgers finally reach accord
The winter of discontent in Mannywood is over.
Manny Ramírez and the Los Angeles Dodgers officially agreed yesterday on a $45 million, two-year contract that keeps him with the NL West champions. The slugger can void the second season of the deal and again become a free agent.
The stalemate was broken during a 6 a.m. meeting that brought the sides face to face at owner Frank McCourt's Malibu home. The gathering came after weeks of protracted negotiations that led to starts, stops, offers and subsequent rejections.
McCourt's frustration with Ramírez's agent Scott Boras surfaced, with the owner describing the agent as "challenging to work with."
The Dodgers confirmed the deal shortly after Ramírez passed a physical. He is set to meet with the media today in Phoenix.
Ramirez gets $10 million this year, and $15 million in deferred money with no interest, payable in $5 million installments each Jan. 15 from 2010 through 2012. If it winds up as a two-year deal, he gets $10 million each season, with three payments of $8,333,333 each Jan. 15 from 2011-13.
Ramirez has until November to decide whether to void the second season.
Hours after Rodriguez played Tuesday for the Dominican Republic in a tune-up for the World Baseball Classic, the New York Yankees announced he would get his ailing hip checked by a specialist.
An exam Saturday revealed a cyst in Rodriguez's right hip. The 33-year-old slugger was scheduled to visit Dr. Marc Philippon yesterday in Vail, Colo.
Rodriguez's status for the WBC is uncertain. He didn't play in the Dominican Republic's 6-1 loss to the Orioles yesterday.
Wearing a broad smile, Martínez pointed skyward. Then he slapped high-fives with teammates who jumped out of the dugout to partake in the celebration.
It was just like old times.
Martinez hasn't landed a major league contract as a free agent, in part because he's 37 and has struggled through three consecutive injury-riddled seasons. Yet the righthander is still a favorite of baseball fans and is appreciated by his teammates on the Dominican Republic squad, which is preparing for the WBC.
Martínez went 5-6 with a 5.61 ERA in 20 starts for the Mets last year, but he looked sharp against the Orioles.
It was an uplifting performance for Martínez, who performed far better than his pitching line of two innings, three hits, a walk and two strikeouts would indicate.