Manny Ramirez decides to stay with LA Dodgers
AP Baseball Writer
NEW YORK (AP) – Manny Ramirez decided to stay with the Los Angeles Dodgers on Friday, and baseball’s trade market sprang to life with a pair of swaps two days after the World Series.
Rather than become a free agent, Ramirez exercised his $20 million option, part of a deal the outfielder agreed to with the Dodgers last March that included a $25 million salary for 2009.
Among 16 Dodgers potentially eligible for free agency, Ramirez hit .290 with 19 homers and 63 RBIs this year, his season stained by a 50-game suspension for violating baseball’s drug policy.
The Chicago White Sox acquired Mark Teahen from the Kansas City Royals for infielders Josh Fields and Chris Getz and cash, and Minnesota obtained shortstop J.J. Hardy from Milwaukee for outfielder Carlos Gomez, one of the players the Mets sent to the Twins in the Johan Santana deal.
Two pitchers were blocked from becoming eligible for free agency when teams exercised their 2010 options. Cliff Lee, who beat the Yankees twice in the World Series, gets a $9 million salary from Philadelphia next year. Brandon Webb, the 2006 NL Cy Young Award winner, receives $8.5 million from Arizona rather than a $2 million buyout.
Reliever J.J. Putz’s $9.1 million option was declined by the Mets, who will pay a $1 million buyout. Washington declined a $10 million option and chose to pay a $1 million buyout to outfielder Austin Kearns, who was bothered by a thumb injury and hit just .195.
Colorado turned down options on catcher Yorvit Torrealba ($4 million) and left-hander Alan Embree ($3 million). Torrealba gets a $500,000 buyout, and Embree $250,000.
The Chicago White Sox declined a $12 million mutual option on right fielder Jermaine Dye. The 2005 World Series MVP gets a $950,000 buyout and immediately filed for free agency.
“Money is tight all over the world and certainly on the South Side,” Chicago general manager Ken Williams said. “We’re going to spend whatever we have available, but it’s not much.”
Milwaukee declined a $3.7 million option on right-hander David Weathers, who gets a $400,000 buyout.
The Angels’ Vladimir Guerrero, Chone Figgins and Kelvim Escobar were among 39 players who filed Friday, raising the total of free agents to 118. Also filing were three members of the NL champion Philadelphia Phillies: Pedro Martinez, Brett Myers and Miguel Cairo.
About 65 additional players are potentially eligible to file by the Nov. 19 deadline. Free agents can start negotiating money with all teams the following day.
Teahen batted .271 with 12 homers and 50 RBIs this year, making 99 starts at third base, 31 in right field and three at second base. Chicago plans to switch Gordon Beckham to second and use Teahen at third base.
“That’s really my comfort position,” Teahen said. “It’s huge. The past three years I haven’t known where I’m going to play, and the past 24 hours I haven’t know what city I’m going to play in.”
Teahen could make as much as $5 million in salary arbitration.
Obviously, we’re in a time in baseball where the economics are very, very important. I would not discount that as a part of the equation,” Royals general manager Dayton Moore said.
Kansas City also declined options for outfielder Coco Crisp ($8 million), catcher Miguel Olivo ($3.3 million) and right-hander Yasuhiko Yabuta ($4 million). Crisp and Olivo became eligible for free agency.
Crisp and Yabuta each get $500,000 buyouts, and Olivo receives $100,000.
Hardy, a 2007 All-Star, joins catcher Joe Mauer, a teammate on the U.S. national teams in 2000 and 2003. The 27-year-old Hardy batted a career-low .229 with 11 homers and 47 RBIs in 115 games last season and was demoted to Triple-A in August. He replaces Orlando Cabrera, who is eligible for free agency.
“I definitely knew I was going to get traded once I got sent down,” Hardy said. “Once I got the call this morning, I was pretty excited about it.”
Gomez, who turns 24 next month, hit .229 with three homers and 28 RBIs in 137 games with the Twins last season.
“Last year, I can’t do nothing about it, because I didn’t play every day,” Gomez said. “You don’t play every day, it’s tough.”
Atlanta agreed to a minor league contract with reliever Scott Proctor, who missed last season following elbow surgery.
AP Sports Writers Dave Campbell, Rick Gano, Chris Jenkins, John Krawczynski and Doug Tucker contributed to this report.