PHOENIX -- The Manny Ramirez deal is done.
The Dodgers won't announce it until they get the results of a physical, but Ramirez agreed to a two-year, $45 million deal at an early morning meeting in Los Angeles, and he could report to spring training as soon as Thursday.
The deal is thought to be on the same general terms proposed last week, with a $25 million salary for 2009 and an opt-out clause after the first year. There was a very public disagreement last week over deferred money, but even with that the two sides were only $1.5 million apart in real money. It's not yet clear exactly how much deferred money is in the contract.
Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti and manager Joe Torre flew to California for the meeting, which also included Dodger owner Frank McCourt and Scott Boras, Ramirez's agent. Colletti and Torre are flying back, and are expected at Camelback Ranch in time for today's game against the Giants.
The Dodger clubhouse was surprisingly quiet this morning, even as the deal was being finalized. The only change was that the open locker that the Dodgers have been holding for Ramirez now has a sign on it that says "Reserved."
Even when the clubhouse television ran a Manny update, few players bothered to look. The main reason, some players said, is that they always assumed a Manny deal would eventually get done.
"It was just a matter of time," first baseman James Loney said.
The players know how important Ramirez is to their chances of winning. He hit .396 for the Dodgers after last year's midseason trade, with 17 home runs and 53 RBI in 53 games. The Dodgers, who trailed in the division when they made the Ramirez trade, went on to win the National League West by two games over the Diamondbacks.
Despite those numbers, and despite that impact, Ramirez and Boras were never able to interest other teams in seriously bidding against the Dodgers. While the Dodgers needed Manny, no one else seemed to want him -- at least not at this price.