ON THE FIELD:
Cubs 5, Dodgers 3 (Dodgers.com)
OFF THE FIELD:
The latest Manny action via Diamond:
The Dodgers' meeting with Scott Boras lasted about 150 minutes and produced a two-year, $45 million offer with Manny Ramirez getting a player option for the second year at Boras' request, according to a baseball source. The deal would guarantee Ramirez $25 million in the first year, and he can either accept a $20 million salary in the second season or try to make more in free agency.
Tony Jackson adds:
If he is injured during the first season, the second year becomes guaranteed.
It seems this is the Dodgers' concession in avoiding a third year. $45 million guaranteed, with no Andruw Jones-type maneuvering.
Yahoo! Sports' Tim Brown notes:
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.
But I think I speak of all the beat hacks -- and a lot of people inside the Dodgers organization -- when I say this Manny Ramirez issue needs closure. I'm guessing you, the fans, are getting pretty tired of it, too. We have been following this story almost daily since the end of last season, and really, nothing has changed. Until today, or the past few days, or whenever this all started to come together, nothing had really changed on either side in all that time. That having been said, I do think that if this deal gets done, the Dodgers have a chance to be really, really good....
Jackson talks about the possibility of the Dodgers acquiring "another frontline starting pitcher along the way"—might Roy Halladay become available?—but that's ages away. (The only one not holding his breath for the Dodgers to sign Manny? Juan Pierre.) But just because we're all getting tired of week after week of non-news doesn't mean Ned Colletti and Boras need to speed things along. Take your time, guys. Opening Day is more than a month away.
From Dylan Hernandez at the LA Times:
Manny Ramirez's agent revealed early this morning that the All-Star outfielder hadn't accepted the offer made to him by the Dodgers on Wednesday, saying he remained "in the middle of negotiations" on behalf of the slugger.
Scott Boras declined to discuss the Dodgers' latest proposal, which would pay Ramirez $25 million this season and $20 million in 2010 if his client picked up a player option, according to baseball sources familiar with the offer who weren't authorized to speak publicly on the matter. But while issuing a "no comment," Boras indicated that Ramirez hadn't reached an agreement with the Dodgers and that there was at least one other team in talks with him.
That second team? We're not sure, but we're guessing it's the Worcester Tornadoes of the Canadian-American Association of Professional Baseball.