Team spokesman Josh Rawitch wrote in an e-mail that agent Scott Boras notified general manager Ned Colletti of the decision. Colletti made the offer Sunday, reportedly for one year and $25 million.
"We still want to sign Manny," Colletti said earlier Monday. "We still want to make him a Dodger. That hasn't changed."
Colletti later added in an e-mail to reporters: "We have an interest in signing Manny. We don't have a deadline but these situations can change in an instant and either side can change them in an instant."
With less than two weeks before Spring Training starts, not much had changed between the Dodgers and Ramirez since the 2008 season ended. During the General Managers Meetings in November, the Dodgers offered Ramirez two years at $45 million, plus a third-year option for $15 million. Ramirez never responded and the club withdrew that offer when the exclusive negotiating period expired Nov. 15.
The Dodgers offered Ramirez salary arbitration in December, which would have bound him to the club with a one-year contract at a salary to be determined, but he did not accept the offer.
The market for the gifted slugger, who turns 37 in May, has been murky. The Dodgers are the only club known to have made an offer. The Giants are the only other club to have acknowledged interest, although like the Dodgers, it is short term only. Boras has said he's in negotiations with several teams concerning Ramirez but has declined to name them.
The Dodgers, with no designated hitter rule available to provide a transitional role as Ramirez ages, have insisted they will not provide the four- or five-year deal he is seeking. The one-year offer is believed to be a compromise attempt by the club that will reward Ramirez with the second-highest annual salary in history while allowing him to return to the free-agent market next year, when the economic climate might be friendlier and he would still be young enough to capitalize.
Colletti has been non-committal about what he would do for offense if Ramirez does not re-sign. From the current roster, the Dodgers could start Matt Kemp, Andre Ethier and Juan Pierre in the outfield. The GM also had touched base earlier in the winter with the agents for free-agent outfielders Bobby Abreu and Adam Dunn, but the club's interest in them apparently had cooled in the past month.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.