Breaking down some Manny Ramirez odds

With pitchers and catchers set to report soon, the MLB free agency period has essentially cooled off. In fact – it’s over unless your team signing Bobby Abreu, Adam Dunn or Pudge Rodriguez gets you all hot and bothered. Of course, there is one name remaining on the free agent list that could instantly turn an average team into a contender.

All has been quiet on the Manny Ramirez front of late. For the most part, nothing has changed, yet every day the 2009 season inches closer and closer and one of the best sluggers in the game remains teamless.

So which team will eventually sign Manny? Let’s break down the odds.

Los Angeles Dodgers: The boys in blue still seem like the best fit for Manny. The Dodgers would once again be the instant favorites to win a weak NL West and with Man-Ram in the lineup, they could challenge the Phillies, Cubs and Mets for the NL Pennant. But length of contract has been a sticking point between the two parties and neither seems willing to budge. Ramirez and Scott Boras want a five-year contract, but the club’s only official offer came 80-some days ago, which was for two-years and $45 million. With no other real competition in the mix for Manny, the Dodgers don’t have to blink first. But considering how stubborn Ramirez and Boras have been to this point, it looks like L.A. might have to bite the bullet and up the years of their offer. The stare down continues, although the Dodgers still appear like the most logical fit in the end.
Odds Manny signs with the Dodgers: 3/1.

San Francisco Giants: Depending on which report you believe, the Giants are anywhere from “highly” to “not a chance in hell” interested in Manny. Some believe that Boras made up the rumor that San Fran was interested because he wanted the Dodgers to panic and slap another year or two on their initial offer. But others truly believe the Giants are one big bat away from at least competing in the NL West and they’ll eventually break down and trump the Dodgers’ offer. But the reality is that the Giants don’t necessarily need Manny. Sure, their offense needs him, but Fred Lewis is younger, plays better defense and finally showed some potential last season in all facets of the game. And when you consider the Giants are still paying dearly for their Barry Zito gaff, offering Ramirez a huge contract would be foolish considering they’re still years away from competing for a World Series. Plus, Ramirez reportedly doesn’t want to play in San Francisco, although if the money is right than we all know he’ll play anywhere. The Giants will probably stay the course with their rebuilding plan and pass, but it wouldn’t be a shock if they made an offer.
Odds Manny signs with the Giants: 12/1.

New York Mets: The Mets seem to be the sleeper in the mix for Manny. They certainly have the money to throw at Ramirez and they would love to make him one of the attractions to go along with a brand new ballpark. Ramirez is also from the New York area and it’s now or never for the Mets to compete. They’re built to win now, so it would be a shame if didn’t do everything they could in order to compete with the Phillies in the NL East. Still, Manny to the Mets remains a long shot. They haven’t made any official offer and unlike the Giants, there are minimal rumors that the Mets are even interested.
Odds Manny signs with the Mets: 20/1.

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