Scorecard on the Free Agent Market

It is hard to know if it is confidence, ego or stupidity that prompted Manny Ramirez to turn down a $25 million offer [that's even hard to write, let along refuse] but one of the above or somewhere in between the answer resides. No one knows if it is his final answer but assuming it is, where do the Dodgers go from here?

It is hard to know if it is confidence, ego or stupidity that prompted Manny Ramirez to turn down a $25 million offer [that's even hard to write, let along refuse] but one of the above or somewhere in between the answer resides. No one knows if it is his final answer but assuming it is, where do the Dodgers go from here?

If the club is looking for an outfielder to replace Ramirez's big bat, Bobby Abreu has received a $8 million offer from the White Sox for one year. It is thought that Adam Dunn, and his four-straight 40 home runs seasons, would be at about the same level.

A report by the MLB Network that Gold Glove second baseman Orlando Hudson has talked to the Dodgers recently, along with the Mets, Yankees and Nationals. However, General Manager Ned Colletti said he "absolutely" still considers Blake DeWitt his second baseman. And about talking with Hudson, "They inquired," Colletti pointedly said.

Oliver Perez signed a contract with the Mets Monday, perhaps jarring loose the logjam that has kept both Randy Wolf and Branden Looper locked up waiting for the lefthander to make a decision.

The Dodgers were "cautiously optimistic" that getting Perez off the board -- and removing the Mets as negotiating leverage -- will spur remaining pitchers to reach agreements. The Dodgers continued talks over the weekend with agents for both Wolf and Looper, MLB.com reported. Apparently Wolf, who pitched well for the Dodgers in 2007 until he injured his shoulder, has long been the club's preferred choice.

In addition to his experience, if signed Wolf would be a second left-handed arm in a rotation that includes Clayton Kershaw. Also in the rotation are Chad Billingsley (apparently healing well from a broken leg) and Hiroki Kuroda. That would leave competition for the fifth slot among Jason Schmidt, Eric Stults, Ramon Troncoso, Shawn Estes and Claudio Vargas.

Other on the bulletin board with a photo that says, "Please give one of these pitchers a home" include:

Ben Sheets is tantalizing but the Dodgers shudder at the thought of paying big money and getting nothing in return -- think Jason Schmidt and, of course, Andruw Jones.

Sheets probably has the most potential and the vision of him pitching at Chavez Ravine (if healthy) would be exciting. It would also give him an opportunity to post a sub-3.00 ERA with his usual eye-popping peripherals. 

  Others available in no particular order:

Kris Benson:  Phillies (Showcasing for clubs)
Paul Byrd:  Boston (Sitting out until July)
Tom Glavine:  Braves 
Jason Jennings:  Rangers
Pedro Martinez:  Mets
Mark Mulder:    Cardinals (To showcase for clubs this week) 
Carl Pavano:  Yankees
Julian Tavarez:  Braves
Steve Trachsel:  Orioles  

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