News broke yesterday that the Oakland Athletics had signed the unretired Manny Ramirez to a one-year contract worth $500,000, and now there's an update: The A's expect Ramirez to report to Phoenix for spring training on Friday.
"I watched some video of him and saw the swing," A’s manager Bob Melvin told the AP today. "It didn’t look any different, and it looked like he was in good shape. He'll be ready to go with the position players, and we’ll see what he has to offer."
Ramirez retired from baseball on April 8, 2011 after it was revealed that he’d tested positive for a performance-enhancing drug. Now that he's back, he must serve a 50-game suspension before he plays again in the major leagues, but beyond that, he's ready to go.
"I’m feeling really good, mostly on a spiritual level," Ramirez said in a radio interview. "I'm very confident with the shape I’m in heading to spring training. ... I have a passion for the sport, and I know I can still play." Ramirez has played 19 major league seasons so far with the Indians, Red Sox, Dodgers, White Sox and Rays. He has a .312 career batting average, 555 home runs and 1,831 RBIs.