Manny Ramirez requests release; A's oblige
OAKLAND, Calif. (AP) -- Manny Ramirez is a free agent again after he asked the Oakland Athletics to release him and the team granted his request on Friday.
Ramirez signed a minor league deal with Oakland on Feb. 20 and hit .302 with 14 RBIs in 17 games with Triple-A Sacramento. He served a 50-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball's drug policy last year, but remained in the minors when the ban ended on his 40th birthday on May 30.
The dreadlocked slugger was expected to make approximately $500,000 if he was added to Oakland's big league roster.
Ramirez, who has 555 career homers and 1,831 RBIs, retired last season rather than serve a 100-game suspension for failing a second drug test. But Commissioner Bud Selig cut the suspension in half after Ramirez sat out the balance of the season.
He served a 50-game suspension in 2009 while with the Los Angeles Dodgers organization, playing parts of three games in Albuquerque during his rehabilitation assignment.
The 12-time All-Star went 1 for 17 (.059) in five games last season for Tampa Bay, which had signed him to a one-year deal worth $2.02 million.