03/04/2009 8:02 PM ET
Dodgers, Manny Ramirez agree to two-year contract
Future Hall of Famer makes commitment to community
CAMELBACK RANCH - GLENDALE - The Los Angeles Dodgers today signed 12-time All-Star outfielder Manny Ramirez to a two-year contract with a player option following the first season. In addition, Ramirez will make a $1 million commitment to the Dodgers Dream Foundation that will help fund Dodgers Dreamfields.
Ramirez is expected to meet with the media at a news conference tomorrow at approximately 10:30 a.m. (MT) at Camelback Ranch - Glendale, located at 10712 W. Camelback Road.
"We are thrilled that Manny wants to be a Dodger and that he has made such a tremendous commitment to the Los Angeles community," said Dodger Owner Frank McCourt. "We witnessed something very special last year in the way that our fans connected with him and the manner in which the team came together. Now, we focus our complete and undivided attention on our primary goal - winning a World Championship."
"Manny has shown that he has an ability to significantly alter our lineup," said Colletti. "Our organization has maintained its commitment to our core of young, homegrown talent while also retaining such key veterans as Casey Blake, Rafael Furcal, and now Manny, all of whom helped us reach the National League Championship Series.
"Manny showed great leadership in the clubhouse and on the field last season and to say we're very pleased that he's back with the Dodgers is an understatement."
Ramirez, who hit .396 (74-for-187) with 17 homers and 53 RBI in 53 regular-season games in a Dodger uniform, helped lead the team to a 2008 National League West Division Championship, a sweep of the Cubs in the Division Series, and its first National League Championship Series appearance since 1988. He became one of the most popular players in franchise history after he was acquired by the Dodgers July 31 along with cash considerations from the Boston Red Sox at last year's trade deadline as part of a three-team deal with Pittsburgh.
Ramirez's 21 homers as a Dodger from August 1 through the postseason were the most by any player on the team for the entire season, one more than Andre Ethier's 20.
The right-handed hitter batted a combined .332 with 37 homers and 121 RBI in 153 games with the Red Sox and Dodgers in 2008. He ranked third in the Majors in batting average, tied for fourth in homers, and tied for sixth in RBI. He also ranked second in the Majors with a .602 slugging percentage, behind only Albert Pujols (.653), and fourth with a .430 on-base percentage.
In the 2008 postseason, Ramirez batted .520 (13-for-25) with four homers, 10 RBI, 11 walks, and a .667 on-base percentage in eight games as the Dodgers swept the Cubs in the National League Division Series before falling to the eventual World Champion Philadelphia Phillies in the National League Championship Series.
Ramirez ranks 17th on baseball's all-time home run list with 527, and is one of only eight players in baseball history with at least 12 seasons with 30 or more homers (1995-96, 1998-2006, 2008). He is also one of just nine players in history to hit at least 20 home runs in 14 straight seasons.
Ramirez, 36, is a career .314 hitter in 2,103 games with Cleveland (1993-2000), Boston (2001-2008), and the Dodgers (2008). Among active players, he ranks sixth in hitting, third in doubles (507), fourth in home runs, and second in RBI (1,725) behind only Ken Griffey Jr.'s 1,772. Only Griffey Jr. (611), Alex Rodriguez (553), and Jim Thome (541) have more home runs among active players. Ramirez has won nine AL Silver Slugger Awards for outfielders during his 16 Major League seasons.
Ramirez ranks 20th on baseball's all-time RBI list. He has logged at least 100 RBI in 12 seasons, including nine straight campaigns from 1998-2006. Since "RBI" became an official statistic in 1920, only eight players in history have recorded nine consecutive seasons of at least 100 RBI. Ramirez has 1,353 RBI since the start of the 1998 season, trailing only Alex Rodriguez (1,378) among all Major Leaguers in that time. Ramirez's 418 home runs in that same span rank second behind only Rodriguez (489).
A veteran of 10 postseasons, including four World Series, Ramirez is baseball's all-time post-season home run leader with 28, and he ranks second with 74 RBI, just six behind Bernie Williams. Ramirez won two World Series championships with Boston in 2004 and 2007, and was named the World Series Most Valuable Player in 2004. He also played in the 1995 and 1997 Fall Classics with Cleveland.
Among active players, Ramirez ranks fifth in on-base percentage (.411), and seventh in batting average. He also ranks eighth in baseball history, and second among active players behind only Albert Pujols (.624), with a .593 slugging percentage. His 2,392 hits rank ninth among active players, while his 507 doubles are third.
He was the AL batting champ in 2002 with a .349 average and the 2004 AL home run champ with 43.
Ramirez was born in the Dominican Republic and raised in Washington Heights, NY, graduating from George Washington High School in 1991. He was originally selected by the Indians as the 13th overall pick of the 1993 First-Year Player Draft. He then signed with Boston as a free agent on December 13, 2000.