Fri Jan 02 06:44am EST
The Los Angeles Dodgers are in discussions to rework the contract of beleaguered outfielder Andruw Jones, with the goal of moving him off the roster while freeing up salary that might be used to sign free-agent outfielder Manny Ramirez, according to MLB.com.
An industry source confirmed a Los Angeles Times report that talks were ongoing. That report claimed the Dodgers would free approximately $12 million that could be used to sign Ramirez, who did not respond to a two-year, $45 million offer the Dodgers made in November and withdrew two weeks later.
Before Jones left the club during its 2008 division-title run in September, he told teammates he did not want to return to Los Angeles for the final year of a $36.2 million contract signed last December and would waive his no-trade protection. The contract was backloaded with $21.1 million still to be paid.
The Dodgers are hoping to spread that money over more years. It could be done through an extension, which would move a chunk of money off the 2009 payroll. There also is the possibility of a deferred buyout, either to facilitate a trade or allow Jones to become a free agent.