03/04/09 3:23 PM EST
Torre, Colletti back from seeing Manny
Skipper, general manager pleased with face-to-face meeting
By Ken Gurnick / MLB.com
"I thought it went great and Manny seems very happy and excited about the prospects," said Colletti, who flew to Los Angeles with Torre on Tuesday night for a 6 a.m. PT meeting Wednesday with Ramirez, his representatives and club officials at the Malibu home of owners Frank and Jamie McCourt
"If it lasted an hour and a half, there was not one uncomfortable moment."
Ramirez settled for a contract similar to the one the Dodgers originally proposed in November that kicked off more than 4 1/2 months of sometimes acrimonious negotiations. The final deal is two years for $45 million, with $25 million deferred over five years without interest and a player opt-out clause after the first year.
The deal is contingent on Ramirez passing a physical exam that was ongoing, so Colletti would not actually confirm that an agreement had been reached. He did, however, explain why the club felt the meeting was necessary.
"It was designed to put the personality back into the picture rather than just a negotiation, which was more than four months in transpiring," said Colletti. "We felt it was worthwhile to see that everybody was on the same page. We needed to put the personalities back into it. With four months of negotiations and so many things in the press, it was important to have a one-on-one."
"I couldn't have been more pleased at how excited he was with the prospects to get back on the field," said Torre. "It lasted a while, just a lot of comfortable conversation. Frank McCourt, he's the owner and he pretty much kicked it off, but everybody spoke. He's basically chomping at the bit."
Torre said he spoke with Ramirez about his preparations for the season and anticipated it would be a week before Ramirez was ready to play in exhibition games.
"This is my first spring [with Ramirez] and, hopefully having him here, I need to know what he likes to do," said the manager. "My guess, he's doing all his conditioning he needs to do. I'd say once he gets on the field, it'll be about a week."
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.