The love-to-hate long haired Manny with a smile that goes for miles, retired from baseball last season in Tampa immediately after testing positive for PED’s for the third time. The once notorious slugger has signed a minor league deal with the Oakland Athletics for $500,000, just enough to fund this years’ prescriptions. Just kidding.
Now pushing 40, Ramirez won’t be playing until the end of May when he serves 50 games for the hiccup. When it comes to this years performance, your guess is as good as mine. Last season the DH went 1-for-17 before being busted, a long ways from the once feared slugger. With 555 career homers, this bad boy may just provide the veteran presence in the clubhouse to players like outfielder Yoenis Cespedes and second baseman Jemile Weeks.
In a tough AL West, the A’s are going to need all they can get. At $500,000 his financial risk is minor - way less risky than the $2.02 million the Rays gambled on. Despite Ramirez’s lack of swing accuracy of late, his personality and celebrity name tag should bring in a crowd for Manager Billy Bean and the boys. The talented Yoenis also expressed interest in playing with the 12-time All-Star, so give the kid what he wants. He is possibly Oakland’s brightest talent, so pairing him up with one of his idols can’t hurt. If Manny can get a couple good swings in while being a good ambassador of baseball, he could be potential trade bait for another city in need of a circus.
Last year the A’s had a disastrous time scoring runs ranking 12th among the 14 teams in the AL. Not to say Manny is going to help them get out of that slump, that’s up to each individual on the team to provide run support. But he will bring in the laughs, media attention, great career stats (which I hear Mr. Bean is a fan of), bobblehead night and possible controversy in what will be his 20th season.
Last time I checked, the A’s were all about the moneyball. Some might argue Manny's glory days are behind him and he probably won't be able to perform without 'help'. Unless Manny decides to be Manny again and shoot for the substance, this half mil move is still a bargain and may prove to be a home run.