The Associated Press relates that Manny Ramirez signed a minor league contract with Oakland Athletics on Monday. The team was looking for a designated hitter for a long period of time and now they have found Ramirez who is believed to make one of the most productive sluggers in the history of the American baseball. Ramirez will receive $500,000 if the team adds him to the major league roster.
Although the deal is currently pending a physical, sports analysts have all the reasons to believe that the contract will be enacted soon. In fact, he will begin his training for the spring season by the end of the week. Despite his practice, the baseball player will not be able to take part in a game before May 30 because he has to fulfill a 50-game suspension after violating the drug policy of the Major League Baseball for the second time.
The Athletics’ general manager, Billy Beane, told the press that the deal will be announced in the media on Tuesday during a news conference. He further stated that the team is happy to have Ramirez on their side because they can improve their results. Second baseman Jemile Weeks added that Ramirez’s relaxed disposition might help the camaraderie of the team.
Ramirez has had good results, so far; he occupies the 14th position due to his 555 home runs and the .312 career batting average. Nevertheless, critics think the baseball player will not be able to make a difference this season as his suspension will force him to miss half of the games.
The last time Ramirez played was in April 2011 when he retired without saying a word after playing five games with the Tampa Bay Rays. Medical results showed that Ramirez was using performance-enhancing drugs and he was suspended for the second time. In January, his suspension was reduced from 100 games to 50.
The contract that Oakland has signed with Manny will draw the media’s attention upon the team during the following weeks, thus, increasing their popularity. This is not the only contract that the Athletics will sign this year as they are expected to conclude a $36 million deal with the Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes in a week or two.