Just to put the Yankees’ hand-wringing over Alex Rodriguez in perspective, imagine if the Dodgers’ contract with Manny Ramirez still had two years to run.
Jon Heyman, SI.com, October 15, 2008:
There are some early signs that the Dodgers’ negotiations involving Manny Ramirez, who almost single-handedly lifted the storied franchise to the postseason, will not necessarily go smoothly. Ramirez is believed to be seeking a six-year deal for as much as $25 million per year, and Dodgers owner Frank McCourt is said to be skeptical that the competition will be keen for the controversial but ultra-productive superstar he acquired for virtually nothing a minute before the trade deadline.
Ramirez’s agent, Scott Boras, declined to name a target price in an interview with SI.com on Wednesday. That $150 million total price tag is an estimate based on Boras’ use of the word “iconic” to describe the 36-year-old Ramirez, combined with Ramirez’s own constant mention of a “six-year deal” during frequent media interviews this postseason. Another factor is the reminders from those close to Manny that the 10-year deal Alex Rodriguez signed last year calls for him to be paid his regular $30 million salary from ages 38-42.
Ramirez apparently isn’t kidding with his occasional hints about a six-year deal. If that sounds like a stretch, the Dodgers will have to consider the alternative, which is to present a Manny-less team the year after the hitting savant saved them in the regular season, then carried them in October.
“He pays for himself. You’ve got a free player with Manny,” Boras said. “He’s an iconic player who’s changed the face and fortunes of the franchise.” …
Joel Sherman, New York Post, October 15, 2008
… In other words, Boras is not offering apologies or discounts related to the unprofessional way in which Ramirez forced his way out of Boston. In true no-retreat, no-surrender Boras style, he is strongly hinting that he wants a six-year contract for Ramirez at top-of-the-market dollars.
“All I will tell you is, name me the player in recent times that has had the kind of season [Ramirez] has had this season and postseason,” Boras said yesterday during a conversation that lasted more than an hour.
“Put that together with two [championship] rings on his fingers, and the history he has, and that he is two years younger than Bonds when [Bonds] was a free agent. Bonds signed a five-year contract [for $90 million after the 2001 season] at 38 [he turned 38 midway through the first year of the deal] and got paid until he was 42.
“If Bonds gets five years at 38, what does Manny get at 36? If A-Rod gets paid to 42 [on his 10-year deal with the Yankees], why not Manny? He doesn’t take a backseat to him.” …