Manny Ramirez is Back, Slugger Expected to Join A’s

ESPN’s Pedro Gomez has reported that Manny Ramirez exclusively told him that he has come to an agreement to play for the Oakland Athletics this year. The deal is supposedly worth somewhere around $500,000.

Manny will have to start the season on the bench. He is still required to serve a 50 game suspension for his second violation of Major League Baseball’s substance abuse rules. If everything goes smoothly and there are no rain outs or cancellations Ramirez will be eligible to play June 2 at Kansas City.

The A’s are struggling to stay competitive as they are a team who is rebuilding. The team recently agreed to signed Cuban defector Yoenis Cespedes a $36 million, four-year contract. Cespedes has told the press he would love to share a bench with Manny Ramirez.

MLB had announced Ramirez’s retirement April 8, 2011saying he was notified “of an issue” under the drug program. Ramirez was reported to have failed a second drug test for steroids. He was given the maximum punishment of a 100 game suspension without pay. Ramirez decided to retire instead of serve the suspension. Now that he is being reinstated his suspension has been dropped to 50 games because he sat out most of last season.

Ramirez, who will be 40 on May 30, ranks 14th on the career list with 555 home runs. He went 1 for 17 (.059) in five games last season for Tampa Bay, which had signed him to a one-year deal worth $2.02 million.

The A’s haven’t reached the playoffs or had a winning season since being swept by the Tigers in the 2006 AL championship series. Ramirez will not only be a strong bat to add to the lineup but his experience could be invaluable as a mentor to some of the younger players.

Do you think the A’s will benefit from adding Manny Ramirez?

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