Believe it or not, the Oakland A’s are evidently serious about adding older veterans like Manny Ramirez and Magglio Ordonez this season. Despite the team’s recent attempts to build towards the future and lead a youth-movement, the A’s have not shied away from adding older veterans to the mix.
Billy Beane and the rest of Oakland’s front office has shown strong interest, according to the recent rumors, in free agent slugger Manny Ramirez. Ramirez, 39, last played with the Tampa Bay Rays last year before retiring from the game after another violation of the league’s substance abuse policy.
If the A’s were to sign Man-Ram, they would have to go 50 games without his services before he could play out on the field. Ramirez isn’t exactly a great defender, so the A’s would likely use him primarily as the team’s designated-hitter.
The team does, however, have plenty of other options for their vacant DH spot. Hideki Matsui is unlikely to return in 2012, which leaves Chris Carter a possible candidate to assume the team’s DH spot. Carter, a top prospect in Oakland’s system, hasn’t had much success on the big-league level, but could benefit from a few more major league at-bats.
Carter would also fit in with Oakland’s pro-youth approach, but there are some questions surrounding Carter’s future with the club. The A’s may have lost faith in the 24-year old, so adding a guy like Manny, who does have a proven track record, makes some sense.
In addition to Manny, the A’s are reportedly interested in Magglio Ordonez, who is currently recovering from surgery. Ordonez, 38, might, as suggested by MLB.com’s Peter Gammons, receive an invitation to A’s camp this spring for a tryout.
In 92 games last year with the Detroit Tigers, Ordonez hit .255 with 5 HR and 32 RBIs. He posted a -1.9 WAR last year, and posted a 1.6 WAR the year before that in 2010 with the Tigers. He posted an 8.9 WAR in 2007, but the A’s are certaintly not expecting that type of performance out of the 38-year old outfielder.
It seems the A’s are trying to throw everything against the wall and see what sticks. The power-starved offense could, though, benefit from having two productive, healthy veteran players in Ramirez and Ordonez.
Still, those guys kind of contradict Oakland’s whole commitment to go young.