Originally posted on Waiting For Next Year  |  Last updated 2/20/12

For anyone who was hoping to follow up Jim Thome’s swan song in Cleveland with one for Manny Ramirez, you can keep dreaming.  ESPN is reporting that Manny has agreed to a small deal with the Athletics that includes a spring training invitation.

Sources tell (Pedro) Gomez the deal is worth about $500,000. Ramirez is obligated 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. With no rainouts, the first game Ramirez would be eligible to play is June 2 at Kansas City.

I was a proponent of bringing Manny back to Cleveland one more time because I figured it was a cheap way to take a flyer on a right-handed bat.  With the timing of the suspension it would give the Indians a chance to see what they have and see if they needed to play the Manny lottery fifty games into the season.

Make no mistake.  It is the lottery at this point.  Manny Ramirez hasn’t hit in a while and most seem to think he is completely finished as a hitter as he quickly approaches 40 years of age.  Still, $500,000 seemed like a pretty cheap lottery ticket by MLB standards.

Billy Beane and the Athletics are on-board and we’ll see who is right about Manny and his aging process sometime this season.

[Related: MLB News: Cespedes reportedly signs with Oakland A’s]

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