According to Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com, Manny Ramirez is filing for reinstatement from Major League Baseball’s voluntary retired list and plans to a join a team at some point during the 2012 season.
Manny retired from baseball in early-April of this year after receiving a 100-game suspension for a second positive test related to performance-enhancing drugs.
Had he never filed those retirement papers, he could have returned to the league in August and would have been all set for the opening of the 2012 campaign.
But, as such, the veteran slugger still needs to serve out half of his original 100-game punishment.
Ramirez made only 17 plate appearances for the Rays in 2011, but he batted .298/.409/.460 with nine home runs and 42 RBI in 90 games between the Dodgers and White Sox in 2010. The 39-year-old is likely to find multiple suitors next summer if his workouts are promising and he avoids more trouble.
Manny owns a superb .312/.411/.585 career batting line and is sitting on 555 career home runs.
USA Today’s Bob Nightengale reports that the Mariners will sign Ichiro Suzuki to a minor-league deal. If he makes the roster he’ll make $750,000. At least until he retires.
I say that because it seems quite clear that the idea here, telegraphed since last season, is to activate Ichiro for the Mariners’ series against the Oakland Athletics in Tokyo on March 20-21 and for hoopla surrounding it all. The Mariners and A’s will have a 28-man roster for that series, which is officially part of the regular season schedule, but it will be pared back down to 25 once games begin in the United States.
Suzuki, 45, hit .205/.255/.205 in 47 plate appearances through May 2 last season, at which point he agreed to be deactivated to join the Mariners’ front office. Many assumed Ichiro would announce his retirement later that season or during the offseason, but the Japan Series soon crystalized as an obvious way for him to offer his final farewell to both his American and his Japanese fans.
Unless of course he goes 6-10 with three doubles in that series, at which point everyone will be tempted to keep him on the roster past Japan. Which, given the Mariners’ rebuild and likely poor performance this coming season, wouldn’t exactly be hurting anyone, would it?