Monday, the Oakland Athletics made official what had long been expected by signing Manny Ramirez to a minor-league contract. Manny brings with him a suspension and a recent retirement. Manny also brings with him one of the most impressive statistical track records in baseball history.
There have been some questions about how the A's are going to fit Ramirez in, given their wealth of younger options at DH. Manager Bob Melvin isn't too concerned. Via Susan Slusser:
With Ramirez sitting out the first 50 games for violating baseball’s performance-enhancing drug policy, the team should get plenty of time to evaluate other options, Melvin said. And there will "waves" of evaluation for Ramirez – first during spring, including exhibition games, then at extended spring training, and finally in 10 minor-league games.
Manny's expected to suit up in the minors in the middle of May. So he could push his way to the majors at the end of May or the beginning of June. That would give the A's two months to evaluate what they have, and that's if Manny looks good. If Manny looks bad or otherwise unprepared, the A's probably wouldn't bring him right up, if they brought him up at all.
The A's gave a lot of thought to Manny Ramirez, and decided there weren't any compelling reasons not to sign him. If he's good, that's good. If he's not good, there's little lost. Manny might seem like kind of a weird fit, but let's give this time to play out. Let's at least see where things are when Manny's done serving his suspension.