The Oakland A's signing of Manny Ramirez to a $500,000 Minor League deal has brought strong reactions from fans.
In reality, the addition of the 39-year-old slugger is no big deal.
The last time we saw Ramirez, he failed his second drug test and was facing a 100-game suspension. Since he missed an entire season, his suspension has been reduced to 50 games.
In his last two seasons, Ramirez has only played in 29 games and hit one home run. His batting average was down from his career numbers with his average at .261 with the Chicago White Sox in 2010.
In a small sample with the Tampa Bay Rays,he batted .059 in 17 plate appearances.
This same player has generated strong reactions from fans claiming this deal was bad for the A's. However, if you take a step back and look at the signing, there is a low-risk to signing Ramirez.
The first thing that has to be considered is his 50-game suspension. He will not be able to play until May 30th, which happens to be his 40th birthday.
Another thing to consider is, will the A's still be in contention by May 30th?
Early in the season, no team is really out of the playoff race. However, it is clear by that point which teams are contenders and which are just hanging by a thread. Unfortunately, the A's look like they are going to be one of those teams hanging by a thread.
Kurt Suzuki is now the best home-run hitter on the team, and he only had 14 home runs last season.
Also, fans have to remember, Ramirez signed a Minor League contract. It is not guaranteed that he will play in the big league. When his suspension is up, he will most likely play in the minors before making the jump to the top level.
Even if Ramirez skips the Minor League and goes straight to the 40-man roster, it will most likely be because the team will need a boost. He will probably be given a few months to prove himself, and if it doesn't work out he will either be cut or sent back to the minors.
This is not a huge investment to the A's and it seems hard that Ramirez will be able to cause damage in just a short amount of time.
With the roster that the A's have, signing a player like Ramirez is not a big deal and is something that just needs to play out.