Yankees interested in Manny Ramirez?

Manny Ramirez dropped off the face of the MLB planet last year but he’s still somewhat newsworthy – especially when the Yankees are interested.

According to Jack Curry of the YES Network, the Yankees have had internal discussions about signing Man-Ram. The club is looking for a right-handed bat to add to their bench, although even Curry admits that a deal with Ramirez is unlikely. He’s a poor defensive outfielder and even at his age, it’s doubtful he’ll want to come off the bench. The Bombers already have a DH in Jorge Posada, so he wouldn’t be a fit there either.

The Bombers are pretty set in the outfield with Curtis Granderson, Nick Swisher and Brett Gardner. They still need to add a starting pitcher (or three), but leave it to the Yanks to try and acquire as many bats as possible. If their pitching is as bad as it current looks on paper, they’ll need as much offense as possible.

Assuming Ramirez doesn’t sign with NY, he could land with the Rays, who are interested in signing the 38-year-old.

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Dodgers offer Manny two-year, $45 million contract

The Dodgers officially offered free agent Manny Ramirez a two-year, $45 million contract. Details below.

Manny RamirezMLB.com has learned that in the 2 1/2-hour meeting, the Dodgers officials offered Ramirez a variation of their original two-year deal, guaranteeing $45 million for two years ($25 million the first year and $20 million the second).

Boras told the Los Angeles Times that he’s “in the middle of negotiations” and would not comment further.

However, the third-year option of $15 million from the first proposal was dropped and, at Boras’ request, the second year is a player option so Ramirez could become a free agent again after the 2009 season.

Ramirez, 37 in May, originally sought a contract length of six years at a salary in the Alex Rodriguez neighborhood ($27.5 million a year). The Dodgers initially offered two years at $45 million plus a $15 million third-year option. They also offered salary arbitration, then made a one-year offer of $25 million.

Unless the Yankees get involved or the Giants decide to get gutsy at the last minute, this offer from the Dodgers is the best Ramirez is going to get. L.A. isn’t going to extend the amount of years on the contract and the money is fair. This appears to be a take-it-or-leave-it deal for Manny and Scott Boras.

Manny to the Yankees still alive?

John Tomase of the Boston Herald writes that as long as Manny Ramirez is still available, the Yankees should never be counted out as a potential suitor.

Which brings us back to Ramirez. He has been linked mainly with the Dodgers, with talks reportedly intensifying in the past week. However, he and agent Scott Boras are stubbornly holding out for a four-year deal, while LA is unwilling to offer more than two.

So the clock ticks, with the Yankees sunning themselves like a rattlesnake. Maybe they’ll stay coiled and motionless, but maybe they’ll take their seemingly limitless cash and strike.

“I can’t see it,” Youkilis said. “I only see him really going to LA. The Dodgers will sign him. Maybe San Francisco. I think the Yankees are capped out. They’ve spent all that money, and I can’t see them going after Manny. But you never know with the Yankees.”

Youkilis notes that New York’s outfield already is overflowing with Hideki Matsui, Johnny Damon, Xavier Nady, Nick Swisher, Melky Cabrera and youngster Brett Gardner. Matsui will DH while he recovers from knee surgery and Damon is set in left field, leaving four players fighting for two spots.

Could the Yankees really add Ramirez to that cluster?

Hell yes they could. They’re the Yankees – they can do anything.

The idea seems farfetched with the Dodgers seemingly on the verge of bringing him back, but would anyone be surprised if the Bombers stepped in at the last second and handed Manny the long-term contract he covets? No.

And if they needed room for him, they’d make it.

Will all of the Yankees’ spending force a cap?

New York YankeesLost in the midst of everyone’s bitching about the Yankees’ holiday spending spree this year is the notion that Major League Baseball might actually step up and finally put a salary cap in place in efforts to control teams’ future spending. (I said might.)

In one offseason, the Yankees acquired two of the top pitching free agents (CC Sabathia and A.J. Burnett) available and the market’s best young hitter (Mark Teixiera). Outside of Manny Ramirez and possibly Jake Peavy, the Bronx Spenders have left the market completely bare. (And don’t think they haven’t thought about figuring out a way to squeeze both Manny and Peavy into their budget, too.)

If you trust what some of the major media outlets are saying, then the Yankees are pissing people off – and not just the Red Sox, Angels and every other team that tries to compete with their spending every year. Apparently, they’re pissing off the league, too, but will it be enough to get Bud Selig off his dead ass and put a cap in place? It’s unlikely, but at least there’s talk of a cap possibly on the horizon.

I don’t blame the Yankees for spending as much as they can because there aren’t any rules in place to stop them. If you’re going to allow a tyrant to do whatever it wants, then the tyrant is probably going to do whatever it wants. The Yankees don’t hide who they are – they want to win and they’re willing to spend to do so. And you know what? Don’t blame them – blame the league that doesn’t care enough about evening the playing field to put a system in place to control the spending of every team.

But maybe this time around people are finally going to wake up. The Yankees’ spending isn’t out of control – it’s been out of control for a long time. But again, don’t blame them. There’s never been a better time for a cap and if the Spenders’ holiday shopping spree won’t force change in baseball, then I’m afraid nothing will.

Is Manny Ramirez set to become a Yankee?

Manny RamirezA Dominican site called Impactodeportivo.com.do is reporting that Manny Ramirez is set to sign a three-year, $75 million contract with the New York Yankees soon.

This is from Rotoworld.com:

Doubtful, extremely doubtful. Still, everyone else will picking up on the Dominican-based report soon enough. Manny to the Yankees is a definite possibility, but it’s highly unlikely that the two sides are this far along. On the off chance that it is, a more legitimate source will pick up on it soon.

Agreed. If the Yankees and Manny were this far along, a reporter for ESPN, FOX or SI would be all over it. I don’t doubt that there’s a great chance that Ramirez signs with the Bombers soon, but I doubt it’s going to happen within a day or two. Especially not after the Angels and Red Sox just pulled out of the Mark Teixeira sweepstakes.

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