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Manny meets Moneyball, signs deal with A’s

Big League Stew

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Manny Ramirez signed a one-year deal with Oakland on Monday. (AP)

Last week, Billy Beane took a relatively surprising and sizable risk for some offense, committing four years and $36 million to Cuban outfielder Yoenis Cespedes.

[Jeff Passan: Baseball's top stories in 2012 won't overshadow the game]

On Monday, the Oakland GM made a move that was a little easier to see coming, signing 39-year-old Manny Ramirez to a minor-league deal worth about $500,000.

Ramirez, of course, will have to sit out the season's first 50 games if he makes the big-league team. He'd be eligible to play in his first game on May 29 in Minnesota, one day before his 40th birthday.

The A's signing a value-laden contract with a veteran superstar on the wrong side of his career is nothing new, of course. Frank Thomas, Hideki Matsui, Nomar Garciaparra and Mike Piazza have all logged time at the Coliseum over recent years. Signing Manny may be a risk on a few different levels, but if he's going to produce anywhere and not cause much of a stir it'll be with a team that doesn't receive as much media attention as others.

What's interesting to me, though, is that Ramirez is feeling the baseball jones enough that he's willing to get out of bed for a $500,000 contract. Then again, with guys like Johnny Damon, Vladimir Guerrero and Hideki Matsui still on the market, he really had no choice but to price his services low.

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