Every day, ESPN informs us that something new has happened in the Manny Ramirez/Scott Boras/Ned Colletti/Los Angeles Dodgers negotiations, yet nothing has changed. No deal has been made and Manny/Boras have little leverage; the baseball economy has shrunk and teams are not willing to spend THAT much money. Sure, the Yankees have spent a great deal of dollars this off-season, but noticed the word spent. Even the Yankees are done playing Supermarket Sweep, at least as far as position players are concerned.
For the majority of teams, Manny is not even close to an option. Check out this piece by Doug Miller in MLB.com. Players with extensive All-Star experience and potential Hall of Famers signed Minor League deals this offseason. Sure, many of them will end up making 40-man rosters and get a huge increase in salary, but teams are getting serious about cutting spending.
Names you have heard of who signed Minor League deals include: Brendan Donnelly, Freddy Garcia, Marcus Giles, Eddie Guardado, Matt Herges, Jason Jennings, Andruw Jones, Jacque Jones, Bobby Kielty, Rob Mackowiak, Mark Prior RHP, Glendon Rusch, Mike Sweeney, Juan Uribe, Omar Vizquel, Daryle Ward, Jeff Weaver.
Now, I am not suggesting that Manny Ramirez sign a Minor League contract. And I am not suggesting that Ramirez need be in Spring Training as early as many others in the league. However, I would like to point out that Boras might not be playing his cards right in this situation. He is the master of leverage, but who is he pitting up against the Dodgers? Does Colletti truly believe that there are any suitors out there who will pay anywhere near what the Dodgers are offering?