Manny finally speaks about Dodger deal

GLENDALE, Ariz. /*Ramirez*/ spoke to the media Thursday morning for the first time since signing his new contract with the /*Dodgers*/. The 12-time all star appeared at the team's new spring training facility in Glendale, Arizona with Dodgers owner /*Frank McCourt*/, Manager /*Joe Torre*/ and General Manager /*Ned Colletti*/.

Ramirez says there are no hard feelings after months of contentious negotiations. Ramirez went on to say he's happy with the money he received and he's looking forward to getting back on the field. "It's better late than never," Ramirez said. "It was a bad economy. I got a great contract."

Ramirez gets $10 million this year, and $15 million in deferred money with no interest. A plan the sides discussed would have it payable in $5 million installments each from 2010 through 2012. If it winds up as a two-year deal, the plan called for $10 million each season, with three payments of $8,333,333 each from 2011-2013. Ramirez will make a $1 million commitment to the /*Dodgers Dream Foundation*/ as part of the deal.

The contract stalemate ended during a 6 a.m. meeting Wednesday at McCourt's Malibu home. The session came after weeks of protracted negotiations that included starts, stops, offers and subsequent rejections. The slugger can void the second season of the deal and again become a free agent.

The left fielder was believed to be seeking a four or five-year deal that would take him through the end of his career. He turns 37 in May.


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