Colletti says Ramirez 'Offer' is a Rumor

Dodgers General Manager Ned Colletti scotched reports that the club has made a decision on what to offer free agent outfielder Manny Ramirez. Sports Illustrated, citing "a person who's spoken to Dodgers people," suggested that the team is considering proposing a contract that may come close to matching Alex Rodriguez's record $27.5-million annual salary but on a term of perhaps two years.

Colletti smiled at the rumor and said, "We have not made a decision on either term or dollars. I'm sure we'll get together with Scott Boras, [Ramirez's agent] soon and see what their interest is and we'll explain our interest. We haven't had any conversation with him yet, nor have we decided our position at this point."

Chairman Frank McCourt, Colletti and manager Joe Torre said last week the club was interested in bringing back Ramirez, who can file for free agency after the conclusion of the World Series.

"From the scuttlebutt I get," said Torre, "it will take some length to sign [Ramirez] and I think you have to think hard about that. I'd be crazy to say I don't want him back."

In an interview with a Los Angeles radio station, club chairman Frank McCourt said he was "hopeful" the club and Ramirez could reach an agreement, but also noted Ramirez's comments about going to the "highest bidder" and comments from agent Scott Boras that Ramirez "pays for himself" through revenue generation.

"We're definitely interested in bringing the player back," McCourt said, repeating comments he made a week ago. "I hope I've made that as clear as I possibly can, but I'm also aware of comments the player has made. He's entitled to go where he wants. And I was there ... I saw how our fans embraced Manny. Personally, he played great, he seemed very happy to me." Ramirez just finished an eight-year, $160 million contract.

After his acquisition from Boston in a three-team trade for Andy LaRoche and Bryan Morris, Ramirez hit .396 with 17 home runs and 53 RBIs in 53 games. On the season, he hit .332 with 37 home runs and 121 RBIs and during the postseason, he hit .520 with four home runs and 10 RBIs.

Dodgers Pleased Ng Will Stay With Club
The Dodgers narrowly averted losing a key member of their front office on Wednesday when Milwaukee Brewers vice president Jack Zduriencik was named general manager of the Seattle Mariners. Dodgers assistant GM Kim Ng was one of four finalists for the job.

Ng, who also interviewed for the Dodgers' GM job when Ned Colletti was hired in November 2005, is believed to be the only female to be interviewed for a GM post with a major league club in the history of the game.

Although the Dodgers have three individuals with the title of assistant GM -- player-development head De Jon Watson and amateur scouting chief Logan White are the others -- her departure would have been a huge loss for the front office for a variety of reasons, and she almost certainly would have had to have been replaced if she had left.

For one, Ng is the only assistant GM who lives in Los Angeles -- Watson and White are Phoenix-based -- and as such is the only one who is a daily presence in the team's offices at Dodger Stadium. For another, she handles preparation for all of the club's arbitration cases and is considered one of the best in the business at those duties.

Finally, Ng is the designated "rules expert," a role that is filled by someone in virtually every major league club's front office. As such, she is well-versed in all of the complex intricacies of roster management.

Notes and Quotes
--INF Angel Berroa was told recently that the Dodgers won't exercise his $5.5 million contract option for next season, a decision that basically had been made when the Dodgers acquired him from Kansas City on June 6. The Royals are responsible for the $500,000 buyout of the option, but the Dodgers would have been responsible for all of Berroa's 2009 salary if the option had been exercised. Berroa has slightly more than five years of major league service time and as such remains under the Dodgers' control as an arbitration-eligible player.

--OF Delwyn Young underwent arthroscopic surgery on Oct. 22 for the removal of a spur on the back of his right elbow and the repositioning of the ulnar nerve. He had been experiencing discomfort when throwing. He is expected to begin throwing in about six weeks and should be ready by the start of spring training.

--LHP Brent Leach was selected to pitch in the Arizona Fall League's Rising Stars Game. Leach, a reliever who had a 2.60 ERA in 49 combined appearances for high Class A Inland Empire and Class AA Jacksonville this season, was off to a rough start in the AFL. Through five appearances with Surprise, he had given up nine runs on 11 hits over 7 2/3 innings, and opposing batters were hitting .367 against him.

--SS Ivan De Jesus, who had a monster year at Class AA Jacksonville, will play in the Arizona Fall League's Rising Stars Game. De Jesus, the Dodgers' top shortstop prospect, batted .324 with a .419 on-base percentage this season and could be in the majors as soon as next season. But he was off to a slow start in the AFL, batting just .231 with two extra-base hits in 39 at-bats through 10 games with Surprise.

--Hall of Fame Manager and Special Advisor to the Chairman Tommy Lasorda will be the keynote speaker at the United States Strategic Command Birthday Ball this Friday, October 24.  During Lasorda's visit to Offutt Air Force Base in Omaha, NE, home of the U.S. Strategic Command, he will tour the base, speak to the airmen, and address the officers and speak at the Birthday Ball as the culmination of his visit. "It is an honor and a privilege to speak to the men and women of the Armed Forces," said Lasorda.  "I have the deepest respect and appreciation for their service and sacrifice."

--RHP Yhency Brazoban is pitching for the Licey Tigers in the Dominican Winter League. The Dodgers' one-time closer, Brazoban has made a total of 11 major league appearances for Los Angeles over the past three seasons because of various injuries, including Tommy John surgery in 2006. Brazoban is arbitration-eligible, and his inability to stay healthy puts him in grave danger of being non-tendered by the Dodgers this winter.

By The Numb3rs: 6 -- Dodgers players who are known to be eligible for arbitration this winter, a list that could grow to eight if C Russell Martin and OF Andre Ethier are declared "super-twos." Already on the list are RHPs Yhency Brazoban, Jonathan Broxton, Scott Proctor and Takashi Saito, INF Angel Berroa and OF Jason Repko. If club officials are convinced Broxton is ready to become the full-time closer, Saito could be non-tendered.

Quote to Note: --"We let him sneak in a little batting practice, but he didn't hit in any games. He was strictly there to work on his jumps and routes and reads and throwing mechanics. When you start at that (Arizona Fall League) level, with more advanced players, you want to make sure you are executing like you should." -- Dodgers assistant general manager De Jon Watson, on the reason coveted but defensively challenged outfield prospect Andrew Lambo was sent to the Arizona Instructional League for a week before the start of the AFL season.

Shorten Playoff Time?
Baseball commissioner Bud Selig hopes to shorten the postseason by two or three days next season by eliminating some off days. MLB shifted the start of the World Series from Saturday to Wednesday beginning last year, adding four extra days off. Selig said he likes the Wednesday start but is concerned about weather next year, when the regular season doesn't start until April 5. World Series Game 7 would be on Nov. 5 if the current format is kept. "We've got to look at trying to -- maybe not having so many off days and days when you have only one game," Selig said at Tropicana Field before Game 2 of the World Series on Thursday night.

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