Thursday, March 5, 2009

Manny Ramirez Re-Signs with Dodgers for 2-Yr, $45 Million

After four months of tumultuous negotiations, Manny Ramirez has re-signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers with a two year contract worth $45 million.

Ramirez and his agent Scott Boras had previously turned down that deal when it included a club option for the 2011 season worth $15 million. Instead, Manny gets an opt out provision after this season.

Manny had expected a huge demand for him in the free agent market but couple the struggling economy with his sullen attitude the only other team that had a passing interest in him was the San Francisco Giants. The last thing the Giants need is another temperamental slugger.

There is no question Manny made Los Angeles care about the Dodgers again. The Angels had essentially supplanted the Dodgers as the city's most popular baseball team. Then Manny came along and gave it a Fernando Valenzuela like injection. Although the Dodgers had started playing well the month before Manny arrived there's no question that his near .400 average with 17 homeruns and 53 RBI sealed the NL West Division.

Manny will be productive but he will inevitably not run out ground balls, abruptly ask out of the lineup and assault elderly men who do not bow before him. The Dodgers will have to take the bad with the good.

Frankly, I think the San Francisco Giants will have the last laugh in the NL West this year but I'll have more on that when I write my predictions for the 2009 MLB season at the end of the month.

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