Ramirez, Dodgers reach agreement on $45M contract

Published 1:58 am Thursday, March 5, 2009

LOS ANGELES (AP) — The winter of discontent in Mannywood is over.

Manny Ramirez and the Los Angeles Dodgers officially agreed Wednesday on a $45 million, two-year contract that keeps him with the NL West champions. The slugger can void the second season of the deal and again become a free agent.

The stalemate was broken during a 6 a.m. meeting that brought the sides face-to-face at owner Frank McCourt’s Malibu home. The gathering came after weeks of protracted negotiations that led to starts, stops, offers and subsequent rejections.

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At times, McCourt’s frustration with Ramirez’s agent Scott Boras surfaced, with the owner describing the agent as ‘‘challenging to work with.’’

All that was forgotten on a rainy late-winter morning when Ramirez surfaced in the Malibu mist to rejoin the team and city that embraced him after he left Boston at the July 31 trade deadline.

‘‘We got a great meeting,’’ Ramirez told KCAL-TV as he emerged from a mandatory physical in suburban Inglewood. ‘‘I’m happy to be here. We got some unfinished business, and that’s why I’m here.’’

The Dodgers confirmed the deal shortly after Ramirez passed the physical. He was set to meet with the media Thursday morning in Phoenix.

Ramirez gets $10 million this year, and $15 million in deferred money with no interest. A plan the sides discussed would have it payable in $5 million installments each from 2010 through 2012. If it winds up as a two-year deal, the plan called for $10 million each season, with three payments of $8,333,333 each from 2011-13.

Ramirez has until November to decide whether to void the second season.

‘‘Throughout his free agency, Manny directed me to pursue a deal with the Dodgers, and in the final moments it was clear both sides wanted to complete the process,’’ Boras said.

Los Angeles’ original offer was for $45 million in guaranteed money, including a $4 million buyout of a 2011 option, and gave the Dodgers the ability to maintain control of Ramirez over three years. It also did not include the no-trade provision.