According to multiple media reports, Manny Ramirez and the Oakland Athletics have agreed to a Minor League contract for the coming season that will pay the slugger $500,000 if he makes the Major League roster. Ramirez will be expected to take over as the team’s designated hitter once he’s done serving a 50 game suspension for testing positive for banned substances during last year’s Spring Training.
After signing a $2 million contract to play for the Tampa Bay Rays ahead of the 2011 season, the 39 year old made only seventeen plate appearances before announcing his retirement from baseball. The announcement just happened to coincide with news of his positive test from the Spring being released.
The 50 game suspension has been cut down from the 100 game suspension that he originally earned with his second positive test result for banned substances. A declining Ramirez was still able to get on base more than 40% of the time in 2010, but there’s no telling what a two year older player who missed almost an entire season’s worth of baseball will be able to add to the A’s this season.