An Open Letter to Ned Colletti Re – Negotiating Manny’s Deal

(In a matter of days, Dodgers GM Ned Colletti is expected to barter with Scott Boras, to retain the services of his client, Manny Ramirez.)

Ned, if you really want Manny, you’re going to need some creativity in your negotiation strategy.

Here are a few tips from the textbooks, and beyond:

(1) Don’t deadlock, though that will be the temptation. Pundits have predicted that you’ll inevitably take a position in favor of a short contractual LENGTH. That’s merely one dimension of the overall deal. Please recall, you offered a very short two-year term to this year’s no show, Andruw Jones. Did it make a difference in his results? Did he try harder to impress?

(2) But if we must talk contractual length, let’s do it in a new and creative manner. Peg the length of the deal to objective results, based on performance. If Manny hits over .300 and drives in 100 runs in what would be his last year under your most favored terms, he qualifies for a locked-in, added year. And the following year if he does the same or better, he gets yet one more year. Heck, offer him a seven year deal subject to this condition: Until his stats decline below the minimal thresholds you establish, he gets to keep playing, and you get to keep paying. Of course, you’ll boilerplate the agreement with provisos, including minimum number of at-bats per year, etc. But in the final analysis, his TALENT and CONTRIBUTIONS determine contractual length.

(3) If you’re concerned about the predicted return of “Many Being Manny,” a clubhouse scourge, you can also add a team performance standard. If the Dodgers do not make it to the postseason with a certain amount of regularity, the agreement can be terminated after say, three seasons.

As you know, negotiation is a win/win proposition when it is conducted well.

Manny should pay for himself, and then some. And the Dodgers should make him the sweetest possible deal, while lining their coffers through ticket, concession, and collateral sales.

And above all, the fans should get value, which means getting their Manny.