Arbitration offer to Manny protects LA

Arbitration offer to Manny protects LA

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers on Monday offered salary arbitration to free-agent outfielder Manny Ramirez to ensure Draft-pick compensation if Ramirez signs with another club. The Dodgers also offered salary arbitration to pitcher Derek Lowe and infielder Casey Blake.

The Dodgers would receive a first-round pick from the signing team if that team selects in the second half of the first round of the June Draft, or a second-round pick from the signing team if that team selects in the first half of the first round, plus a sandwich pick between the first and second rounds in either case.

General manager Ned Colletti said he has not spoken to agent Scott Boras about Ramirez since last month's General Managers Meetings in Dana Point, Calif. At those meetings, the Dodgers offered Ramirez a two-year contract for $45 million with a $15 million option on a third year. The offer was withdrawn when the club's exclusive window to negotiate with its free agents expired Nov. 15.

Ramirez, who turns 37 next May, has until Sunday to accept or decline the arbitration offer. If he accepts, he's considered signed to a one-year contract, with his salary to be negotiated or, if an agreement isn't reached, to be determined by an arbitration panel. If he rejects the offer, he remains in the free-agent pool with the compensation picks attached.

Despite only two months in the National League with the Dodgers, Ramirez finished fourth in voting for the league's Most Valuable Player Award, one vote short of third place Ryan Braun of Milwaukee.

He pretty much carried the Dodgers into the postseason with a .396 average, 17 homers and 53 RBIs in 53 games, along with a .469 on-base percentage and .743 slugging percentage after his July 31 acquisition from Boston. Since RBIs became an official statistic in 1920, only one Dodgers player (Duke Snider in 1953) had more homers, RBIs and a higher average in a 53-game span.

Hot Stove

Ramirez has 527 home runs, 17th on the all-time list, and is 20th on the all-time RBI list with 1,725. His .396 average with the Dodgers was second highest for an in-season acquisition behind Cesar Cedeno, who hit .434 in 28 games in 1985. Ramirez's combined .332 average on the season was third in baseball behind Chipper Jones (.364) and Albert Pujols (.357), he tied for fourth with 37 homers, was sixth with 121 RBIs, second with a .601 slugging percentage and fourth with a .430 on-base percentage.

Although it doesn't count for MVP consideration, Ramirez continued the onslaught in the postseason, going 13-for-25 with four homers and 10 RBIs in eight games. He extended his MLB postseason records with his 28th homer, 12 in the League Championship Series and has an RBI in nine straight postseason games.

He hit .533 (8-for-15) in the NLCS with two homers and seven walks. He drove in seven of the Dodgers' 20 runs (35 percent), had 16 of their 64 total bases (25 percent), with a .682 on-base percentage and a 1.067 slugging percentage.

Ramirez is one of only six players in MLB history with at least 12 seasons of 30 or more home runs and the only active player with home runs during the last decade is Alex Rodriguez.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.