According to a few reliable sources, including Fox Sports, the A's have followed up their signing of Cuban stud outfielder Yeonis Cespedes with another huge Latin baseball name, Manny Ramirez.
The deal isn't official, but it's been on-going in talks for over a week now, and seems pretty close to inevitable, especially after the signing of Cespedes. I think the A's are bringing in Ramirez mostly because they want him to be a mentor to the young Cuban outfielder, but they also have a huge hole at the DH spot where they have penciled in strikeout machine, Chris Carter, who has mammoth power but nickname as "strikeout machine" speaks for itself (44 K's with just 3 HR in 114 MLB at-bats). Compare that to his Sacramento numbers when he hit 31 jacks in 125 games in 2010 then 21 in 75 games last year! Unfortunately, for Carter, I just don't ever see him being able to hit ML pitching. A's would still be Manny-less until late May, but they have enough options at DH to fill in until then (Jonny Gomes choice number 1). Not sure what he's got left, if anything, but I'm sure the year off has healed him up nicely and the fact he'll only need to play 100 games (all at DH mind you) will probably keep him healthy and in the lineup. As I said when A's interest in Manny first broke, I think this would be a win-win move for Oakland. It not only adds excitement (now along with Cespedes) to an otherwise lackluster offensive ball club and will certainly put a few extra thousand fans in the Coliseum come June when you got ManRam and Cespedes back-to-back. In 100 games, a healthy Manny could definitely be good for 20 jacks and 60 RBI, and it really reminds me of the Frank Thomas signing back in 2006, and I'd look for similar success. A small market, under the radar team would be ideal for Manny's comeback.
So with Manny in tow, albeit not until late May, this is what the A's are hoping their lineup shapes into. And this is of now, as Beane has shown he's not scared to add players who can hit that can't find homes and another guy I like for them is Wilson Betemit, who could play third or first for them. Another guy I couldn't understand why Beane didn's sign was Casey Kotchman, who is a high OBP, decent power, good gap hitter who can pick it at first? Anyway, this would much more interesting lineup when ManRam's ready. Just hope it does't cost Michael Taylor (A's top OF prospect) his shot cause I see big things for him this year. Taylor keeps getting blocked by guys like Matsui or DeJesus and now Crisp again, and this dude is real 5-tool talent! A big reason why, in fact, probably a the majority factor behind the Cespedes signing and a guy like Manny that if Cespedes, who's just 26 and signed for 4 years at a reasonable rate, produce, they'll be huge commodities in the trade market. An AL team desperate for a DH in July would jump all over ManRam if he were hitting .315 with 10 HR and 35 RBI with a .950 OPS and the A's now have that value for dirt cheap. Not saying he'll do exactly that, but that's what he has the ability to do and command! With Cespedes, a team like the Yankees could love him after a year and give the A's the moon for him next winter. These are strong moves by Beane, win-win! Not a bad looking lineup either, especially that top-4: