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Dodgers Open Bank For Ramirez

The Dodgers said heading into the offseason that they were going to make re-signing Manny Ramirez their main priority. Well, it looks like they're living up to their word.

Dodgers GM Ned Colletti told the media at the annual GM Meetings in Dana Point, Calif. that L.A.'s pitch to the slugging left fielder would give Ramirez the second highest annual salary in MLB history. If you do the math, the number the Dodgers are talking about figures to be in the two-year, $50 million range, a per annum around $25 million that would put him right behind Alex Rodriguez's $27.5 million per year with the Yankees. It's possible that the Dodgers are offering a third year in the package, though even that will fall short of the 4-5 years that Ramirez's agent, Scott Boras, was seeking at $25 million per and up.

Even without a deal, it was a much better day for Ramirez than for now-former Dodgers pitcher Brad Penny, who had a $9.75 million option for 2009 declined, with L.A. deciding to pay a $2 million buy out clause rather than keep him on. The decision comes after a disappointing final season in L.A. for Penny, who won only six games in 19 appearances during a 2008 season which was thoroughly hindered by near-constant shoulder injuries that landed him on the disabled list three separate times. Penny had won 16 games in both 2006 and 2007 for L.A., so his 2008 numbers were a significant drop off.

There were plenty of other substantive rumors floating around in Dana Point, but they were overshadowed yesterday evening by the announcement of the NL Gold Glove winners.

Gerg Maddux was again the headliner, taking home his 18th fielding award for a season in which he split time between San Diego and L.A., where he saddled up for the Dodgers during the playoff stretch.

Both the Mets and Phillies had two players earn spots on the Gold Glove team, with shortstop Jimmy Rollins and outfielder Shane Victorino earning honors from Philadelphia and Carlos Beltran in centerfield and David Wright at third base taking home Gold Gloves for the second straight year.

St. Louis catcher Yadier Molina and San Diego first baseman Adrian Gonzalez were first time winners who have earned plenty of attention for their gloves and the rest of their game, but there were two other first time winners who some people may not have seen coming: Cincinnati second baseman Brandon Phillips and Pittsburgh outfielder Nate McLouth. Both small-market first timers were well worth the attention; McLouth had just one error in 150 outfield starts, a stretch that nearly saw him go an entire season without an error until a throw sailed off line during a final week game against Milwaukee. As for Phillips, he compiled a .990 fielding percentage, helping turn 85 double plays and committing only seven errors across 140 games. Not too shabby.

If there was a complaint to be levied against the Rawlings selections -- and there are always some -- it has to be that the NL's cleanest defensive team, the Astros, didn't get a single pick on the all-NL team. The Astros finished with a whopping 16 fewer errors than any other team in the entire major leagues, let alone the NL.

We don't want to dwell on some of the other chatter spreading around out there too much, but there are two notable rumors of substance that would really shake up major teams that have to be noted, both from fairly reliable sources.

Yahoo!'s Tim Brown is reporting that the Yankees are considering a trade that would send outfielder Hideki Matsui to the Mariners for a pitching prospect. The aim of that trade would be to get another young pitcher to package with second baseman Robinson Cano and, perhaps, Ian Kennedy to try and pry Matt Holliday from the Rockies. Those moves are still in the early stages, of course, and there are some indications the Yankees wouldn't move on Holliday until after they knew Mark Teixeira was off the market. Still, the fact that they might be making contingency plans and working back channels toward a Holliday trade already is an interesting testament to either early moves toward Teixeira from the Angels or another team.

Then there's the ongoing saga revolving around Padres ace Jake Peavy. FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal is reporting that the Cubs are pushing ahead of the Braves in an attempt to build one of the majors' deepest rotations, with Carlos Zambrano, Ted Lilly, Peavy and Ryan Dempster, who they're desperate to re-sign. If they slip with Dempster, the Cubs are even more likely to push hard for Peavy. Interestingly, Rosenthal says the Braves were already granted one exclusive negotiating window but couldn't crank out a deal with San Diego. Maybe Atlanta will cave and throw in more prospects if the Cubs get closer to a deal?

By Cameron Smith  |  November 6, 2008; 8:39 AM ET
Categories:  Astros , Braves , Cardinals , Cubs , Dodgers , Mariners , Mets , Padres , Phillies , Pirates , Yankees  
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