Manny declines LA's arbitration offer

Manny declines LA's arbitration offer

LAS VEGAS -- Free agents Manny Ramirez, Derek Lowe and Casey Blake did not accept the Dodgers' offer of salary arbitration by Sunday night's 9 p.m. PT deadline and remained in the free-agent pool.

Of their 14 free agents this offseason, the Dodgers offered arbitration only to the three. Ramirez and Lowe are the only two of the 14 that are Type A free agents. Blake is one of five Dodgers that are Type B free agents.

Had any of the three players accepted arbitration, he would have been considered signed by the Dodgers to a one-year contract with salary to be determined through negotiations or the arbitration process.

Instead, they remain free to negotiate and sign with any club, including the Dodgers. If they sign with any other club, the Dodgers will receive Draft-pick compensation in the First-Year Player Draft.

In the cases of Ramirez and Lowe, 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 First-Year Player 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.

In the case of Blake, the Dodgers would receive a sandwich pick from the signing team. They did not offer arbitration for their four other Type B free agents -- Joe Beimel, Jeff Kent, Greg Maddux and Brad Penny -- who are unrestricted free agents. Maddux is expected to announce his retirement Monday.

The Dodgers made a two-year offer to Ramirez for $45 million with a third-year option for $15 million, but withdrew the offer when their exclusive negotiating window expired Nov. 15. The club still would like Ramirez to return, but only on a short-term contract. The club has made no offer to Lowe, but is actively pursuing Blake.

Rafael Furcal and Chan Ho Park are two of the club's seven non-ranking free agents for which compensation does not apply. The others are Nomar Garciaparra, Mark Sweeney, Jason Johnson, Gary Bennett and Pablo Ozuna. The Dodgers continue to pursue Furcal.

Rankings are based on a two-year statistical formula for each position group. A Type A player ranks in the top 20 percent at his position, a Type B player ranks in the top 40 percent but not in the top 20 percent. Missing significant Major League playing time -- as in the cases of Furcal and Park -- greatly impact a player's ranking.

The Sunday night deadline typically signals the effectual start of the free-agent season, as most clubs are reluctant to sign another team's impact free agent without knowing whether it would be required to forfeit Draft picks as compensation.

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