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The White Sox certainly could use another starting pitcher, but price remains a deterrent.

The Mets' bid for Freddy Garcia — $1.5 million guaranteed, plus $6.5 million in incentives — was too rich for the Sox.

Free-agent left-hander Oliver Perez, 27, seemingly would be more attractive, but he would face the dual challenge of moving to the American League and pitching at U.S. Cellular Field.

Perez had the highest flyball percentage in the NL last season, and U.S. Cellular had the second highest home-run rate in the majors.

Not a fit.

Why Moises?

Some executives believe that free agent Moises Alou, 42, would be a curious choice for the Phillies as a right-handed hitting reserve; his risk of injury would only increase if he needed to play in the field.

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Added: January 29, 2009

Philadelphia Phillies News

News » Dodgers still look like best fit for Manny 2009-01-29


Dodgers still look like best fit for Manny 2009-01-29


Dodgers still look like best fit for Manny 2009-01-29
Last week I tried to explain why signing Manny Ramirez would make sense for the Giants.

Perhaps the better question is, would the Giants make sense for Manny?

The answer would be "yes" only if the Giants made the right financial offer, which remains doubtful.

Ramirez would be largely unprotected in the Giants' lineup, which last season featured Bengie Molina batting cleanup.

He also might dislike the double whammy presented by AT&T Park — cooler weather, pitcher-friendly dimensions.

Earlier this offseason, one source told me that Ramirez simply did not want to play in San Francisco. Other free-agent hitters share that sentiment.

The Dodgers, then, remain the most logical fit for Ramirez. And a deal could happen quickly if Ramirez and his agent, Scott Boras, dropped their demand for at least a four-year deal.

Here's how it could work:

The Dodgers would sign Ramirez for two years with a player option for a third — a three-year contract, in other words, if that is what Ramirez chose.

In exchange for the team's concession, Ramirez would agree to receive no-trade protection only for the first two seasons. After that, the Dodgers could move him, probably to the American League, where he would become a 39-year-old DH.

The Dodgers do not want to offer Ramirez a third year, especially when they might be bidding against themselves. But signing him would be a counter-productive if Ramirez was unhappy with the deal.

In essence, Ramirez would be rewarded for his bad behavior in Boston; the fear that he would act up again would compel the Dodgers to relent on the third year.

Coming soon: One-year wonders

Yes, the free-agent market could get even weirder.

Some position players might wait until mid-March for the right opportunity, figuring they only need two weeks to get ready for Opening Day.

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