Manny Ramirez’s comeback attempt with the A’s stalled at Triple-A, but now the 40-year-old is planning to play in the Dominican Winter League.
Last winter he was ineligible to play in the DWL because he was on MLB’s suspended list, but Paul Casella of MLB.com reports that Ramirez will play for Las Aguilas.
Ramirez played 17 games at Triple-A for the A’s, hitting .317 with zero homers, three doubles, and a .697 OPS while striking out 17 times. He was released in mid-June and when Jorge L. Ortiz of USA Today caught up with Ramirez in September he was busy “taking my kids to their basketball games, their baseball games, taking them everywhere.”
Back then Ramirez said of his current status: “I have an incredible peace.”
Rob Biertempfel of The Athletic reports that third baseman Jung Ho Kang has been granted a work visa and will soon rejoin the Pirates. Kang had previously not been allowed to enter the U.S. after he was arrested for his third DUI in Seoul in December 2016.
There was some thought that Kang wouldn’t ever play for the Pirates again, but things have worked out in his favor. It will still likely be a while until he actually appears in a major league game, as he will need to get back into game shape and up to game speed.
Pirates president Frank Coonelly said, “After a lengthy process, we are pleased that Jung Ho has been allowed to re-enter the United States. We are encouraged by the steps that Jung Ho has taken to date and are hopeful that having the games he loves taken away from him for more than a year has driven home the reality that he must make better life decisions as we move forward together.
As we have communicated to him throughout this process, we will work to provide Jung Ho with the resources and support necessary for him to meet the high expectations that we have for him as a member of our organization and our community.”
The Pirates signed Kang as an international free agent out of South Korea to a four-year, $11 million contract in January 2015. If he were to appear in the majors this season, he would earn a prorated $3 million. He has a club option for next season worth $5.5 million with a $250,000 buyout.