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12/31/08 7:41 PM EST

Manny's agent, LA yet to restart talks

Since initial conversations, Dodgers have looked at alternatives

LOS ANGELES -- The Manny Ramirez-Dodgers talks have gotten off to a slow restart.

Agent Scott Boras left a voicemail message for Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti on Tuesday, and Colletti left a voicemail as well for Boras on Wednesday. With the New Year's holiday, it wasn't clear when the two sides would actually connect.

But at least they are trying to talk, which is a significant improvement from most of the past two months. The Dodgers made the free-agent outfielder an initial offer of two years for $45 million plus an option year at $15 million during the General Managers Meetings in November.

That offer, believed to be the only one received by Ramirez, went without a response, and the Dodgers withdrew it when their exclusive negotiating window expired on Nov. 15. There was no communication between the two sides after the General Manager Meetings until the Winter Meetings in Las Vegas three weeks ago, when Boras and Colletti met briefly but found no common ground over the length of the contract.

Ramirez, 37 next season, is seeking a deal of at least four years. The Dodgers, with no designated hitter in the National League to allow for a transition as Ramirez nears the age of 40, are interested only for the short term. The Dodgers turned their attention this week to free agents Adam Dunn and Bobby Abreu. But Colletti reiterated on Monday that Ramirez remains his "first choice," and Boras responded by breaking the ice with his call on Tuesday.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.