- The Washington Times - Monday, March 2, 2009

From combined dispatches

The Los Angeles Dodgers have pulled their two-year, $45 million offer to Manny Ramirez, and owner Frank McCourt said negotiations will have to start from scratch.

The Dodgers announced last week that Ramirez had declined the team’s latest offer, a one-year, $25 million contract for the 2009 season with a $20 million player option for 2010. McCourt said no talks with Ramirez’s representatives were scheduled Sunday.

“We’re in what I call a transition phase,” said McCourt, who held a news conference before the Dodgers’ first game at their new spring training facility at Camelback Ranch. “We had an almost four-month negotiation which terminated on Thursday. Now we’re in a quiet period. At some point we’ll pick up negotiations but with a fresh start.”

YANKEES: Alex Rodriguez has met with MLB officials, who sought to interview the New York slugger about his admission that he used performance-enhancing drugs from 2001 to 2003 with Texas.

The commissioner’s office released a statement saying Rodriguez was cooperative in a 2-hour interview with officials from MLB’s Department of Investigations and Labor Relations Department.

METS: Johan Santana said he was OK after throwing a bullpen session, and the team decided against sending him to snowy New York for an MRI on his balky left elbow.

“He felt he was fine, so he’s not going to New York as planned,” general manager Omar Minaya said. “He’ll be seen by our doctors when they come down. It was the weather also.”

Santana long-tossed with new closer Francisco Rodriguez before heading to the bullpen for a 15-minute session with catcher Omir Santos. The 29-year-old left-hander threw 31 pitches hours before New York’s 13-1 win over the Houston Astros.

“This is the first time in the last four days that I’ve thrown, but I feel fine and don’t think there should be any problems,” Santana said.

RANGERS: Josh Hamilton left Texas’ game against the Seattle Mariners with a strained left Achilles tendon but said later it was “no big deal.”

Hamilton walked to the Rangers’ right-field clubhouse, where he was examined by team physicians. He is day-to-day but said he could play Monday if asked.

ORIOLES: Baltimore left-hander Rich Hill was scratched from Sunday’s spring training start with elbow stiffness, an annoying setback for a pitcher eager to restart his stalled major league career.

Hill was scheduled to face the Washington Nationals in Viera, Fla., but was left at Baltimore’s camp after developing stiffness in his left elbow Saturday. The injury is not perceived as serious, but the Orioles - and Hill - aren’t taking chances.

Also, Adam Eaton and the Orioles agreed to a minor league contract. The right-hander will join the team’s major league spring training camp.

DIAMONDBACKS: Outfielder Eric Byrnes, returning from hamstring injuries, is being held out of spring training games because he can’t run full speed on the base paths.

Arizona manager Bob Melvin said he hopes Byrnes will be able to play in mid-March.

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