In his prime, which was about seven years ago at this point, Manny Ramirez was one of the most feared hitters in baseball. And while he has tested positive for steroids and would face a 50-game ban should he re-join MLB, there are reportedly a few teams interested in the slugger. He would likely be limited to a DH role, and the Oakland Athletics could potentially have a need to fill in their lineup.
According to an unnamed source -- (aren't they all unnamed sources these days?) -- the A's have shown a lot of interest in Ramirez in recent weeks. Here is the latest update from ESPNDeportes.com.
The Oakland Athletics are "very interested" in making Manny Ramirez their designated hitter next season, a source told ESPNDeportesLosAngeles.com.
Ramirez, 39, has been working out in Miami since December and has plans to have open workout sessions for clubs interested in his services at the end of January.
"The Orioles and Blue Jays saw Manny work and Baltimore liked what it saw, but Oakland has been the team that has expressed the most interest, even before having him work out," the source said.
And as for Ramirez's reaction to embarrassing himself and his family with the steroid suspension:
"Every day that goes by I regret the decisions I made due to bad advice," Ramirez told ESPNDeportesLosAngeles.com in December. "We're all human and we make mistakes. Everyone deserves an opportunity to show that they have changed."
There is no denying that Man Ram would certainly put a few extra fans into the seats should he sign with Oakland, but he comes with plenty of baggage. Not only will he not be eligible to play until June 1 or so, but he has also earned a reputation of being a poor teammate with a 'me-first' attitude. With the Athletics dedicated to rebuilding in 2012, does it really make sense to bring an aging veteran that brings more questions than answers at this point in his career?
For more on the team, head on over to Athletics Nation.