Star slugger Manny Ramirez has rejected yet another offer from the Los Angeles Dodgers.
|Manny Ramirez is driving a hard bargain [GALLO/GETTY]
The Dodgers announced that the outfielder's agent Scott Boras had declined a $25 million, one-year contract with a $20 million player option for 2010. It was the club's fourth offer to Ramirez this offseason.
"We want Manny back, but we feel we are negotiating against ourselves,'' Dodgers owner Frank McCourt said via a statement.
"When his agent finds those 'serious offers' from other clubs, we'll be happy to restart the negotiations.''
General manager Ned Colletti and McCourt met Wednesday in Los Angeles with Boras.
The offer is similar to the two-year, $45 million deal with a buyout or club option that the Dodgers put on the table in November.
Ramirez refused the offer and the Dodgers withdrew their proposal. The team came back with a one-year, $25 million offer, but Ramirez turned that down as well. Ramirez also turned down salary arbitration.
"Even with an economy that has substantially eroded since last November, out of respect for Manny and his talents, we actually improved our offer,'' McCourt said.
"So now, we start from scratch.''
A message left with Boras was not immediately returned.
Colletti said there was no hard deadline, and Ramirez was not yet needed in spring training.
"With the season starting a week later, it's a little bit more flexible than it might have been a year ago,'' Colletti said.
The Dodgers open the regular season April 6 at San Diego.
Ramirez hit .396 with 17 home runs and 53 RBIs in 53 games with the Dodgers last season while leading them to the National League West title after he was acquired from Boston.