John W. McDonough/SI
The Giants could become the biggest threat to the Dodgers' hopes to retain Manny Ramirez. Giants people said early this winter that they may make a run at one of the "big three" free agents, and with CC Sabathia and Mark Teixeira off the board, their attention could turn to Ramirez, a rare player who could replicate what Barry Bonds gave the Giants.
As the calendar flips to January, Ramirez represents San Francisco's best hope to make a big offseason move. Last week's signing of Randy Johnson to a one-year contract suggests the Giants are ready to make a move in the NL West, as do the signings of shortstop Edgar Renteria and relievers Jeremy Affeldt and Bobby Howry.
While the Dodgers remain the favorites to sign Ramirez, they would prefer to keep him a two-year contract. Their original two-year, $45 million proposal was withdrawn, but they are expected to propose something else soon.
It isn't known what other teams will pursue Ramirez. But with the Giants in the mix, it might be difficult for the Dodgers to stick to that two-year stance. They tried for weeks to bring back Rafael Furcal on a two-year deal but eventually acceded to a three-year deal after it became clear the Braves offered three years.