Mannywood or a Dunn Deal?

A great ballet of negotiation is being played before your very eyes. The Dodgers have admitted they want Manny Ramirez. At the same time, they are courting Reds slugger Adam Dunn. Suddenly, San Francisco has reported to have offered Ramirez a four-year contract, although Giant officials say no offer has been made. Rumors and counter rumors are as thick as job seekers on Barak Obama's front porch.

While the maneuvering, posturing and horse-trading continues between Dodger GM Ned Colletti and Ramirez's agent Scott Boras, here is a look at the two candidates.

The last time we saw Ramirez, he was hitting just a tick under .400 during the regular season and even higher during the playoffs.

Dunn finished his tenure at Cincinnati by clouting 40 home runs for the fourth consecutive season.

One anonymous general managers pointed out Dunn's defense at first base or a corner outfield spot is a major liability. "He's best suited as a DH," was his assessment.

As another American League GM pointed out, "He'd better not be 'The Guy' because he has a lot of holes in his swing and he can be pitched to."

Both players have tremendous power, both create runs, both reach base at a remarkable clip and drive in the magic 100 runs each year. Neither of them will be mistaken for Tris Speaker in the outfield.

Dunn is 29 and cheaper. Manny is 37 and more charismatic.

The Bill James Handbook projects the following season for each player in 2009.

 Player          ave   obp   ops   rc   ab-h    2b  hr  rbi
Ramirez		.301  .404  .955  121  552-166  34  34  113
Dunn		.246  .386  .913  100  562-138  34  42  103  
If these projections are close to the mark, it seems as if Dunn would be the prudent choice. But we're willing to give space to any of you who have an opinion otherwise.

And now a mishmash of other Dodgers news.

Saito to Boston?
According to the Boston Globe, the Red Sox made an offer to former Dodger Takashi Saito after he was non-tendered by Los Angeles. "The Saito market has been surprisingly quiet since he was let go. He'd seem to be a really good gamble for a large-market team, especially since he'd be under control for three years even after being given a one-year deal."

Indians Sign Wilson Valdez
Cleveland signed infielder Wilson Valdez to a minor-league contract and invited him to spring training. Diamond Leung of the Riverside Press-Enterprise noted, "The author of the press release was apparently so excited by the signing that the former Dodgers starting shortstop's entire name was in capital letters."

Orioles Sign Mark Hendrickson
The Orioles officially signed veteran left-hander Mark Hendrickson to a one-year contract worth $1.5million. It could increase to $2 million if he pitches and/or starts enough games to earn incentives.?

?Hendrickson, 34, has a career 50-63 record and a 5.07ERA over parts of seven seasons. He went 7-8 in 2008 with a 5.45 ERA in 36 games (19 starts) for Florida.

?The 6-foot-9 pitcher was 6-15 with the Dodgers in 2006-07 with a 5+ earned run average.

?Dodgers Sign Two Free Agents
The Dodgers signed starting pitcher Brian Mazone to a minor-league contract and invited him to spring training. Mazone, a 32-year-old left-hander, is a career minor leaguer who pitched in the Phillies organization for the past three seasons. Previously he pitched in the Atlanta, Milwaukee and San Francisco systems.

The team also re-signed pitcher Mario Alvarez to a minor-league contract after non-tendering him early this month to remove him from the 40-man roster. Alvarez, who missed all of the 2008 season due to an injury, was not extended an invitation to spring training.

LHP BRIAN MAZONE
6-4  205  tl bl
Born- July 26, 1976
Obtained-Signed as a free agent January 2009

Year	team   w-l    era  gm  gs  sv  in   h   bb  so  whip 
1998	A-     1-6   5.56  20   9  0   68   91  27  32  1.74
2003	A+     0-7   9.31   3  13  0   59   97  27  49  2.10
2004	AA     1-1   2.12   7   1  0   17   13   2  19  0.88
	AAA    1-1   4.50   2   2  2   12   17   3   6  1.67  
2005	AA    11-8   3.10  30  20  1  128  122  34  89  1.22
2006	AA     0-0   2.37   6   6  0   38   32   7  26  1.03
 	AAA    0-0   2.04  20  20  0  128  108  36  85  1.13
2007	AAA    3-2   2.21   6   6  0   37   30   8  20  1.04
2008	AAA   9-12   4.10  28  28  0  165  176  36  113 1.29
  Totals     26-37   3.87 132 105  3  651  686 180  442 1.33
Ex-Dodger VP Steps Up
Camille Johnston, the Dodgers' former senior vice president of communications, has been named special assistant to President-elect Barak Obama and director of communications for First Lady Michell Obama. Before working for the Dodgers, Johnston was the director of communications for Tipper Gore.

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