Similar to the Raul Ibanez signing, over the last few weeks it became clear that Manny Ramirez would be reaching an agreement with the Oakland A’s. Yesterday the A’s made the transaction official, announcing their agreement with Ramirez on a minor league deal worth approximately $500,000.
Ramirez is reportedly set to join the A’s at spring training by the end of the week. While he will be able to stay and workout with his new team through spring training, Manny will not be available for the first part of the year. Before the veteran slugger can join Oakland for the 2012 regular season, he must first serve his 50-game ban which resulted from a second failed performance-enhancing drug test.
Following his rash retirement at the beginning of the 2011 season, Manny made it clear in September that he was rethinking walking away from the game of baseball. The 39-year-old said he wasn’t prepared for retirement and was hoping to rejoin the league for the 2012 season. Major League Baseball agreed to reinstate Ramirez, and they even cut his 100-game ban in half to help his cause on the free agent market.
However, at first it didn’t look like much of anything could entice a team to take a flier on Manny. Eventually a few clubs did express interest in Ramirez, and Manny was eventually able to find the second (or third, or fourth) chance he was hoping for.
While it’s unknown what he still has left in the tank, Ramirez figures to be a draw for Oakland when he does become eligible to join the major league club. 2012 will represent Ramirez’s 20th season in the bigs. The career numbers are impressive (.996 OPS, 555 home runs), but most fans are left with the image of the 1-17 Ramirez of 2011 in their heads.
For more on the Athletics, be sure to check out Swingin’ A’s.
You can check out all of the available free agents by position below.