The Manny Ramirez experiment is officially over with the Oakland A's. Manny asked to be released and the A's granted his request. The A's signed Manny in the offseason, and after he served a 50-game suspension, put him on the roster with Triple-A Sacramento. Ramirez played in 17 games for Sacramento before his release.
Manny hit .302 in 63 at bats in Triple-A, but he did not put up the power numbers expected. Ramirez hit zero home runs and only 3 doubles for a slugging percentage of .349. Ramirez was released just a few days after fellow veteran slugger, Vladimir Guerrero, was released from the Toronto Blue Jays. Manny Ramirez was eligible to play for Oakland beginning May 30th, but the A's kept him in the minor leagues to get more at bats.
The signing and eventual release of Manny may seem strange, but I think they were smart moves by the A's. Oakland was able to sign a veteran hitter to a low risk contract with the potential for a high reward. Manny signed for cheap, had to sit 50-games (with no pay) while getting into baseball shape, and the A's got to put him in the minors without fully committing to bringing him up to Oakland. If Manny would have raked in Triple-A the A's could have brought him up to the big leagues.
Nothing against Manny, but I'm glad the A's decided to grant him his outright release. Manny wasn't hitting for power and the A's don't need a singles hitter in their DH spot, especially one that doesn't run the bases well. Manny can no longer play the outfield, so he would not provide very much flexibility to manager Bob Melvin.
Oakland doesn't really have a spot for Manny right now. The A's have a handful of outfielders that deserve playing time and the DH spot allows them to get four of them into the lineup everyday. Josh Reddick and Yoenis Cespedes, are the best all around players on the A's. That leaves one outfield spot and the DH spot for Coco Crisp, Seth Smith, Jonny Gomes, and Collin Cowgill. There is no need to keep Manny in the minors, taking at bats away from the young guys, if he isn't going to contribute at the big league level.
So, the Manny Ramirez chapter was a very brief one in the Oakland A's history book. Oakland took a smart risk and now it's time to move on without Manny. Now my fellow A's fans and I can wait and see what moves are next with the trade deadline about 6-weeks away.
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*Daniel became an Oakland A's fan during the Bash Brothers era of the late 1980s. He has followed the A's and Major League Baseball for over 20 years. Daniel is currently a Featured Contributor on the Yahoo! Contributor Network.