Phoenix -- Manny Ramirez is headed back to Mannywood. The Great Compromise of 2009 was reached Wednesday, with Ramirez and the Dodgers coming to terms on a two-year, $45-million contract that includes an opt-out clause that the All-Star outfielder can exercise at the end of the first year.
The deal was confirmed by a baseball source who spoke on the condition of anonymity because the deal hinges on Ramirez passing a physical.
Ramirez, who will be 37 in May, will earn $25 million this year -- making him baseball's second-highest-paid player behind Alex Rodriguez of the New York Yankees, who will earn $32 million. He would be guaranteed another $20 million if he decides to exercise his player option for 2010.
The contract includes a no-trade provision, though other details of the agreement are not yet known.
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Ramirez and his agent, Scott Boras, met this morning with Dodgers owner Frank McCourt to finalize the agreement, ending an often-tense, four-month negotiation process that occasionally included sarcastic and hostile exchanges between the sides.
In the end, a partnership was formed between a team that didn't see itself contending without a slugger in the middle of its lineup and a controversial All-Star who apparently didn't have anywhere else to go.
Confirmation of the deal came after several Internet stories said a deal had been reached. Earlier today, The Times erroneously posted an Internet story of its own saying the deal was done. That story was awaiting confirmation, which at the time had yet to be received.
Ramirez, who went into the off-season asking for a four-year deal with a vesting option for a fifth year, acknowledged in an interview with The Times on Tuesday that his well-chronicled behavioral issues might have scared away potential suitors.
"It's still Boston," he said. "It's always, 'He's this and he's that.' Move on. I left Boston. Did I quit while winning two World Series in Boston? You think you can hit 500 home runs quitting?
"I know how people treated me in L.A.. And I want to thank them."
In a separate interview with The Times last month, Ramirez said he wouldn't let the chippy nature of the talks affect his play on the field.
"That won't happen," he said. "Understand me, I have goals. I know that if I play six more years, I could get my 3,000th hit and, who knows, maybe my 700th home run."
Ramirez has 2,392 hits in his 16-year career, including 527 home runs. He hit .396 with 17 home runs and 53 runs batted in 53 games with the Dodgers last year and took them to their first National League Championship Series in 20 years.
Sources close to McCourt said he was struggled during negotiations to set aside his personal feelings toward Boras, who represented Luke Hochevar, the Dodgers' 2005 first-round draft choice who the club failed to sign; outfielder J.D. Drew, who opted out of his contract with the team at the end of the 2006 season; and $36.2-million bust Andruw Jones.
McCourt and Boras resumed talking on Tuesday, meeting at length to settle their differences and progressing to the point where McCourt requested to see Ramirez in person.
Ramirez obliged, flying from Miami to Los Angeles on Tuesday night.
Today, they met, agreed to a deal, and all was right again in Mannywood.
At least until next year.Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times