MLB Free Agency: Manny Ramirez Signs One-Year Deal with Oakland

Tony GiardinaCorrespondent IFebruary 20, 2012

ST PETERSBURG, FL - FEBRUARY 01:  Johnny Damon #22 and Manny Ramirez #24 of the Tampa Bay Rays talk with reporters at a press conference at Tropicana Field on February 1, 2011 in St Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
J. Meric/Getty Images

Earlier this month, the Oakland Athletics swooped in out of nowhere to sign coveted free agent Yoenis Cespedes. On Monday, they again went out and got another highly publicized player by the name of Manny Ramirez.

Ramirez agreed to a one-year, $500,000 contract according to ESPN's Pedro Gomez. Ramirez will still have to serve his 50-game suspension for violating the league's substance abuse policy for the second time. He retired last season as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays when the positive test was announced, resulting in a reduction of the suspension from 100 to 50 games.

Manny Ramirez, who has 555 career home runs, will turn 40 before he gets the chance to put on an A's uniform this season. He struggled in a short stint with the Rays last year.

The A's, who looked to be rebuilding a few weeks ago, have now signed big-name players in Cespedes and Ramirez. Though this doesn't exactly make them contenders in the AL West, it may help Oakland put a solid product on the field in 2011. It could also sell more tickets at the Coliseum after finishing dead last in attendance last season.

If Manny comes back after 50 games and can produce at a fairly high level, the .312 lifetime hitter can pass Reggie Jackson, Rafael Palmeiro and Harmon Killebrew on Major League Baseball's all-time home run list.