Dodgers Pull $45 Million Offer to Manny Ramirez

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The Los Angeles Dodgers have pulled their $45 million, two-year offer to Manny Ramirez, and owner Frank McCourt said Sunday that negotiations will have to start again from scratch.

The Dodgers announced last week that Ramirez had declined the
team's latest offer, a $25 million one-year contract for the 2009
season with a $20 million player option for 2010. McCourt said no
talks with Ramirez's representatives were scheduled for Sunday.

"We're in what I call a transition phase," said McCourt, who
held a news conference before the Dodgers' first game at their new
spring training facility at Camelback Ranch. "We had an almost
four-month negotiation which terminated on Thursday. Now were in a
quiet period. At some point we'll pick up negotiations, but with a
fresh start."

A message was left Sunday seeking comment from Scott Boras,
Ramirez's agent.

The issue separating the two sides appears to be how the $45
million will be paid out. The Dodgers wanted to defer payment of
$10 million until 2011, $10 million more to 2012 and $5 million to

Boras' latest proposal was for a $45 million, two-year deal with
no deferred payments.

McCourt said Sunday that offer only came after Boras responded
to the $45 million offer with a proposal for $55 million for two
years. He said the Dodgers rejected that proposal.

"You can't get a no and then when the other side says, 'OK,
we're going to start fresh,' you say, 'I meant yes,"' he said.
"That's not how it works. It's too little, too late. It wasn't
multiple choice."

The owner also said Boras' suggestion that the deferred money
proposal is keeping both sides apart is a red herring and the agent
had encouraged deferred money to be part of the offers from the

Despite the sometimes acrimonious exchanges between the two
camps, McCourt also said he expects negotiations to resume soon.

"We want to see Manny a Dodger this year," he said.