Sept 13: Former World Series MVP Manny Ramirez, rolls up the car window as he leaves the Broward County Jail in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla. Ramirez was released from jail after authorities arrested him for allegedly slapping his wife during a dispute at their South Florida home. (AP Photo/Hans Deryk)AP
FILE - In this March 16, 2011, file photo, Tampa Bay Rays' Manny Ramirez warms up before a spring training baseball game against the Florida Marlins in Jupiter, Fla. The Oakland Athletics still have strong interest in signing Ramirez, who presents a low-risk investment for the rebuilding franchise. If things come together, and the 39-year-old Ramirez signs a deal, he first must serve a 50-game suspension for violating baseball's drug policy before he could play. (AP Photo/File)AP2011
Ramirez has to serve a 50-game suspension without pay before beginning play for the A's due to violating baseball's drug policy for the second time.
Just this past January, in a tearful interview with ESPN’s Pedro Gomez, Ramirez said he wanted to show he isn’t the man people think he is.
"I want to show people that Manny can change, that he can do the right thing," Ramirez told Gomez. "And to show people that I still can play. I don't want to leave the game like I did. I also want to show my kids that if you make a mistake, don't quit. Just go back and fix it. And if you're going to leave, leave the right way."
Ramirez, a Dominican-born 12-time All-Star, retired after a second positive test for performance-enhancing drugs. When he played for the Boston Red Sox in 2004, the former World Series MVP was among 104 major league players who allegedly tested positive for performance-enhancing drugs. He was given a 50-game suspension in 2009, but two years later he tested positive again.
Now living in Florida, he had requested a formal reinstatement to the league and has agreed to serve his suspension upon approval by the league. In December, however, Ramirez's ban was shortened from 100 games to 50 games.
Ramirez is 45 home runs away from 600 in his career. The 39-year-old has a .312 lifetime batting average with 1,831 RBIs in 19 seasons.
"A bunch of guys are going to look at me and say hey, this guy made a mistake but he didn't quit,” he told ESPN. “Look how he finished. He did the right thing and came back."
The Oakland A's sign Ramirez a week after the team inked highly touted outfielder Yoenis Cespedes, a 26-year-old Cuban defector, to a four-year $36 million dollar deal.
Cespedes, who gained mainstream media attention after a produced video of his workout regimen went viral (Must See Video Below), will earn $9 million per season. He can become a free agent at the end of the contract.
The A's expect him to secure his P1 visa in the next couple of weeks, travel to the team's Arizona spring training site to take his physical and be ready to start training shortly thereafter.
The A's, hoping to be given clearance from Major League Baseball to relocate to San Jose and construct a new ballpark, have been in rebuilding mode this offseason. Oakland traded starting pitchers Gio Gonzalez and Trevor Cahill and also All-Star closer Andrew Bailey.
Includes reporting from the Associated Press.