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Ramirez to return to Dodgers next season

NLCS Dodgers Phillies Baseball

Los Angeles Dodgers’ Manny Ramirez looks on from the dugout after the Dodgers lost Game 5 of the National League Championship baseball series 10-4 to the Philadelphia Phillies Wednesday, Oct. 21, 2009, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/David J. Phillip)


Manny Ramirez will be a Dodger again in 2010. His agent Scott Boras informed general manager Ned Colletti on Friday that the 37-year-old sluggerwould not exercise the escape clause in his contract. As part of the two-year, $45 million contract that Ramirez signed in March, he had the option to re-enter the free agent market after the season. Instead, Ramirez elected to return to the Dodgers for the price of $20 million.

“Obviously, he enjoys L.A.,” Boras said. “If he went into the marketplace, the real negative was that he could end up playing in a place he wasn’t comfortable playing.”

His decision shouldn’t qualify as a huge surprise considering the kind of season that he had. Ramirez was off to a piping hot start, batting .348/.492/.691 with six home runs and 20 RBI until he was suspended for violating MLB’s performance-enhancing drug policy in May. But he just wasn’t the same hitter upon his return, batting an underwhelming .269/.389/.492 with 13 home runs and 43 RBI. He risked making considerably less on the open market.

Ramirez continues to be a liability in left field, but anytime you can have one of the most feared right-handed batters of all-time in your lineup, it’s pretty hard to complain. With one of the most potent outfields in the sport, Colletti will turn his focus to finding a taker for the remaining two years and $18.5 million left on Juan Pierre’s contract.