Manny Ramirez Expected to Sign One-Year Contract with Oakland A's

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistFebruary 20, 2012

FT. MYERS, FL - FEBRUARY 22:  Manny Ramirez #24 of the Tampa Bay Rays poses for a portrait during the Tampa Bay Rays Photo Day on February 22, 2011 at the Charlotte Sports Complex in Port Charlotte, Florida.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Manny Ramirez's long, winding road back to Major League Baseball has reportedly led him to sign a contract with the Oakland Athletics, according to Pedro Gomez of ESPN

Gomez made the announcement on SportsCenter, saying that Ramirez called to tell him that he is going to sign a contract on Monday. Sources said the deal is for one year and $500,000.

The A's have been on a spending spree the last two weeks, at least by their standards, but they are likely done adding to their roster right now.

What It Means

The A's lineup had a serious lack of power. The signing of Yoenis Cespedes last week and addition of Ramirez this week does make them more interesting, though they are still the worst team in the American League West. 

Ramirez still has to sit out the first 50 games of the regular season due to his suspension for a failed drug test last year. The first game he will be eligible to play is June 2 against Kansas City

Even if Ramirez can't hit the way that we are used to, he could provide an early boost in ticket sales for the cash-strapped A's. He has a personality that draws people to the park, so adding him makes some level of business sense. 

What Happens Next?

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Ramirez will have to pass a physical before he can sign his contract, and then he can join his new teammates in Phoenix for spring training. The A's start the season against Seattle on March 28, so they reported to camp last week. 

The A's will give Ramirez and Cespedes as many at-bats as possible this spring to get them ready for the regular season. It will be more difficult for Ramirez since he can't play in a game until June. 

Despite rebuilding their roster with a series of trades, the A's have suddenly become one of the most interesting teams to follow this spring thanks to the efforts of Billy Beane and the front office in the last seven days.