Here's a look at how the negotiations progressed:
Oct. 15: After the Dodgers are eliminated from the National League Championship Series by Philadelphia, Ramirez discusses his free-agency strategy: "I want to see who is the highest bidder. Gas is up and so am I."
Oct. 16: Ramirez cleans out his locker at Dodger Stadium.
Oct. 30: Ramirez files for free agency.
Nov. 4: Agent Scott Boras sets the parameters of Ramirez's asking price, telling reporters at the General Managers' Meetings he's looking for a deal similar to the one that took Barry Bonds to age 43 and the one that pays Alex Rodriguez $27.5 million annually.
Nov. 5: The Dodgers offer Ramirez a two-year deal worth $45 million, plus an option year at $15 million.
Nov. 14: The Dodgers withdraw the offer of two years, $45 million, plus an option year at $15 million, as their exclusive negotiating window expires. Ramirez never responded to the offer.
Nov. 17: Ramirez places fourth in NL MVP Award voting.
Dec. 1: The Dodgers offer Ramirez salary arbitration.
Dec. 7: Ramirez does not accept the Dodgers' offer of salary arbitration.
Dec. 9: Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti and Boras meet at the Winter Meetings, their first meeting in a month.
Dec. 29: The Dodgers contact the agents for free-agent outfielders Bobby Abreu and Adam Dunn.
Dec. 31: Colletti and Boras exchange voicemails in an attempt to resume negotiations. They speak later in the week, opening a dialogue after nearly two months absent of negotiations.
Jan. 15: Andruw Jones is released by the Dodgers after agreeing to defer most of the remaining $21.1 million on his contract, freeing up payroll for 2009.
Jan. 16: Coletti said "there's a dialogue" to describe negotiations with Boras.
Jan. 26: Los Angeles Sports Council names Ramirez's trade to the Dodgers the top L.A. sports moment of 2008.
Feb. 1: The Dodgers make Ramirez an offer of one-year, $25 million.
Feb. 2: Ramirez rejects the offer of one-year, $25 million.
Feb. 7: Ramirez tells the Los Angeles Times "we're in the seventh inning and I'm waiting for my pitch."
Feb. 13: Colletti said "there's been some progress made, but obviously not enough" to get Ramirez signed. Manager Joe Torre confirms he has had several phone calls with Ramirez in recent weeks assuring the outfielder that the club wants him back.
Feb. 14: Dodgers open the new Camelback Ranch-Glendale Spring Training complex, saving an end locker in the clubhouse for Ramirez.
Feb. 21: Colletti said talks with Boras in the previous week were "more frequent and longer in duration."
Feb. 25: In a Dodger Stadium meeting of club chairman Frank McCourt, Colletti, Boras and associate Mike Fiore, the Dodgers offer Ramirez $25 million for 2009 and $20 million for 2010, then, at the request of Boras, make 2010 a player option.
Feb. 26-28: The Dodgers and Ramirez spend three days exchanging variations of the two-year, $45 million deal, with deferred compensation the sticking point.
March 1: Chairman Frank McCourt said negotiations were on hold while the club celebrated Opening Day at the Camelback Ranch-Glendale stadium.
March 3: An agreement appears close as Ramirez flies to Los Angeles to meet with McCourt.
March 4: Ramirez agrees to a two-year, $45 million contract, with $25 million deferred over five years and a player opt-out clause after one year.
Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.