Tampa Bay Rays Manny Ramirez at spring training baseball in Port Charlotte, Fla., Tuesday, March 15, 2011.(AP Photo/Charles Krupa)
When you're the two-time defending AL champion, you don't have to be desperate and take minimal risks by signing out-of-their-prime players hoping they can pay off.
But when you're the Oakland A's, and you're chasing the two-time defending AL champions, you do everything you can to catch a break. That's why the A's signed 39-year-old slugger Manny Ramirez to a minor-league deal on Monday for $500,000. That means Ramirez has to make the big-league club out of spring training to get paid, so it's basically a win-win for the A's, who are in desperate need of an offensive spark.
The A's were 20th in MLB last season in runs scored and 24th in both team batting average and home runs.
Ramirez will have to start the season with a 50-game suspension for testing positive, once again, for performance enhancing drugs, which was seemingly the reason he retired after just five games with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2011.
But make no mistake about it, PEDs or not, Ramirez was one of the most feared hitters in the game's history, and maybe the best right-handed hitter of all time, when he was in his prime with Cleveland and Boston.
He'll without a doubt serve as the A's designated hitter if he makes the team and despite being 39, he could still serve a good purpose as a DH.