Manny Ramirez went for the money.
The power-hitting outfielder reached a preliminary agreement Monday night on a $160 million, eight-year contract with the Boston Red Sox, according to a high-ranking baseball official familiar with the negotiations.
Ramirez turned down a $136 million, eight-year offer from the Cleveland Indians, according to a source with knowledge of that team’s offer, also speaking on the condition of anonymity. His agent, Jeff Moorad, said earlier in the evening that all things being equal, his client would sign with Cleveland.
News of the agreement with the Red Sox was first reported by The Boston Globe.
The deal, which the official said probably would be announced Tuesday, contains about $30 million in deferred payments.
Red Sox general manager Dan Duquette and Moorad could not immediately be reached for comment.
“We’ve done what we can do,” said Indians general manager John Hart, who would not confirm his team’s offer. “Maybe even beyond what we should do. We hope Manny takes this offer. But if he doesn’t, we have a lot to be proud of because we feel our owner really stepped up.”
The Indians sent Dr. Louis Keppler to Florida to give Ramirez a physical, according to the source. Manager Charlie Manuel and teammates Travis Fryman and Jim Thome also called Ramirez within the last day to try to convince him to stay, the source said.
Ramirez, 28, hit .351 last season with 38 homers and 122 RBIs in 439 at-bats.
Two years ago, Boston also tried to sign a run-producing outfielder. But all the Red Sox wound up doing was raising the price for the New York Yankees to re-sign Bernie Williams, who stayed home for an $87.5 million, seven-year contract.