New news came today on the Manny Ramirez front: Manny rejected a one-year, $25 million contract offer from the Dodgers. Not smart on either end.
The Dodgers should see this as an opportunity to cut ties with Manny Ramirez. Given the poor economic climate and deteriorating costs of free agents, the Dodgers could afford many players instead of one with that $25 million that would have been given to Manny.
Pat Burrell and Jason Giambi signed short-term, low-money deals, which players such as Orlando Hudson, Adam Dunn, and Bobby Abreu may need to settle for now. How about all three for about that same $25 million?
The Dodgers could field this lineup:
SS Rafael Furcal
2B Orlando Hudson
RF Bobby Abreu
LF Adam Dunn
CF Matt Kemp
1B James Loney
3B Casey Blake
C Russell Martin
Who in the National League West, and maybe even in the National League, will be able to top that?
Maybe the Cubs, maybe the Phillies. Either way, the almost impotent Dodgers offense of the first half of 2008 will be a distant memory.
Even with Manny Ramirez hopeful of returning, the Dodgers were still in conversations with Randy Wolf. Add Wolf to the mix on top of Abreu, Hudson, and Dunn, and the Dodgers have close to a pretty competitive team.
Ned Colletti should realize the opportunity he has here as Dodgers GM. Having let the Manny talks drag out for so long, he is left with cash and solid talent willing to work for less.
Stop bidding against yourself for one guy. You need a team to win.