Despite reports claiming that Manny Ramirez may prove to be too costly for the Dodgers, general manager Ned Colletti said Thursday that the club still has interest in the free-agent slugger.
"We want Manny, and Manny knows it," Colletti told the Los Angeles Times. "We'll just keep talking and see if something can't be worked out."
Colletti and Ramirez's agent, Scott Boras, have reportedly been talking since last Friday about the 36-year-old left fielder.
The Dodgers remain the only team to make a known offer to Ramirez when they offered him a two-year, $45 million contract in October before pulling it two weeks later.
The market for the mercurial slugger has been virtually non-existent, especially after the Yankees, who were rumored Ramirez suitors, made a surprising move and signed Mark Teixeira.
The Angels also were originally linked to Ramirez, but Angels general manager Tony Reagins told reporters two days before Christmas, "Manny Ramirez will not play for the Angels in 2009, or beyond for that matter."
San Francisco recently surfaced as a possible destination for Ramirez, but an ESPN.com report on Tuesday shot down those rumors, calling them "unfounded" and "baloney."
The same report said Ramirez could be too expensive for either the Dodgers or the Giants because he is still seeking a four- or five-year contract in the $25 million-a-year range.
But it will be difficult for Ramirez to get that kind of contract because there does not seem to be much of a market for the future Hall of Famer despite his performance with the Dodgers last season after being traded by the Red Sox minutes before the July 31 Trade Deadline.
Ramirez made an immediate impact with the Dodgers, leading the team to its first National League West title since 2004 and its first appearance in the NL Championship Series since 1988.
In 53 games with the Dodgers last season, Ramirez batted .396 with 17 homers and 53 RBIs. And in eight postseason games, Ramirez batted .520 (13-for-25) with four homers and 10 RBIs.
And even though he spent just 53 games in the National League, he still finished fourth in the voting for the league's Most Valuable Player.
Rhett Bollinger is an associate reporter for MLB.com.
This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.