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NL West Rivals Jockey for Manny Ramirez

It looks like there actually might be a second team interested in Manny Ramirez, but it's not the Nationals. Rather, it's the biggest rival of Ramirez's most recent team, with the Giants actively poking around to investigate a potential contract offer for the perennial All-Star, according to a number of sources.

The Denver Post's Troy E. Renck was the first to run with the rumor, burying it in a notebook about the Angels' signing of Brian Fuentes. By last night, Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman was citing the Giants as the Dodgers' biggest threat in the Ramirez chase.

And while the San Francisco Chronicle's Henry Schulman is openly skeptical, at least one bay area source is reporting that the Giants have already extended a four-year deal to the slugging outfielder, albeit also playing down the team's chances of signing Manny with a quote from a team official saying, "it's not happening."

So how serious are the Giants? That's hard to tell, though it's hardly debatable that the Dodgers are taking it seriously. Around the time that the Giants were reportedly working their way in on Ramirez, the Dodgers were scrambling to dump Andruw Jones' ridiculous salary to free up room to make a new push for Ramirez, according to the L.A. Times' T.J. Simers.

According to MLB.com's Ken Gurnick, the Dodgers are working on a deferred payment scale with Jones' agent Scott Boras, who also happens to represent Ramirez. The idea is that, by adding a slight amount of total value, the Dodgers could push off deffered payments to Jones, making him more attractive to suitors like the Mets, who then could come to some kind of a contingency on payment of deferred contract money based on how many incentives Jones hits as a member of their outfield. In return, the Dodgers would immediately get the financial flexibility they need to make a push in earnest for Ramirez.

On Tuesday and Wednesday, Boras and Dodgers GM Ned Colletti traded voicemails about setting up a meeting to discuss parameters of a Ramirez deal, so the Manny situation could finally come to a head soon. Now the big question doesn't appear to be which coast the slugger will hit on, but rather which end of California he'll call home.

By Cameron Smith  |  January 2, 2009; 2:04 PM ET
Categories:  Dodgers , Giants  
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Next: Jones Defers $12 Million to Leave L.A.

Comments

So, we now live in a baseball reality where an agent is negotiating delayed payments for one client to enhance the present money paid to another client in a deal that would leave the L.A. Dodgers with a financial interest in the performance of a N.Y. Mets outfielder? What qualifies as outrageous anymore?

Posted by: advocate2 | January 2, 2009 3:15 PM | Report abuse

Cameron,
Since we're being completely ignored over at Nationals Journal, and since you are actuallly, ahem, working, any chance you can you find out how Shawn Hill is doing? Has he done any baseball activities or thrown or anything? Seems we're still giving the guy a chance and I don't know anyone who doubts his ability *if healthy*.

Posted by: NatsNut | January 2, 2009 4:11 PM | Report abuse

p.s. I am glad the battle for Manny is in California. I want him as far away from my Nationals as he can get. I don't even want the *rumor* that he's coming here. In fact, is anyone in the AL sniffing around? That would be ideal.

Posted by: NatsNut | January 2, 2009 4:15 PM | Report abuse

Actually, NatsNut, I don't mean this to wish harm on them, but I think Manny might be a good fit for the Team That Must Not Be Named as DH. Roberts / Mora / Markakis / Manny / Huff (or Scott) / Wieters / Scott (or Huff) / Jones / Izturis could be productive. Manny hits well in Balmer. If he feels he is being disrespected by other teams, he might be motivated. Come in with the Dodgers old offer that Boras now wants. He might take it. Better, 1 year $22 million, with a $3 million buy out and an option for a 2d year at $24 million. That'd get her done, and give you a year to let Reimold develop in AAA.

Posted by: jca-CrystalCity | January 2, 2009 4:56 PM | Report abuse

That would be delicious, jca.

Posted by: NatsNut | January 2, 2009 4:58 PM | Report abuse

Don't you just love this time of year, MLB fans - rumors run amuck and we just can't get enough of them.

I hear Andruw Jones may leave baseball and sign on as a sports writer for the Washington Post.

Posted by: FredCDobbs | January 2, 2009 6:56 PM | Report abuse

If so, you better hope his speling percentage is better than his slugging percentage.

Posted by: fengraf | January 2, 2009 7:18 PM | Report abuse

Or better than my spelling percentage.

Posted by: fengraf | January 2, 2009 7:19 PM | Report abuse

Don't do it Man-ny!!! Don't do it!!!!!!

Posted by: Brue | January 3, 2009 11:34 AM | Report abuse

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