Despite the ongoing search for a middle-of-the-order, power bat – one that is preferably right-handed – to help boost run production for the 2012 season, Cleveland Indians general manager Chris Antonetti reportedly went on record to say that the team will not look to add former Indians outfielder Manny Ramirez.
Ramirez decided to walk away from the game of baseball in 2011 after he failed drug test for the second time, opting to skip the season rather than face a 100-game suspension, penance that has since been reduced to 50 games due to something akin to “time served.” The 39-year old, oft-eccentric slugger recently told ESPN’s Pedro Gomez that he would like the chance to prove that he is a changed man. “I don’t want to leave the game like I did,” said Ramirez. “I also want to show my kids that if you make a mistake, don’t quit. Just go back and fix it. And if you’re going to leave, leave the right way.”
Despite not having a season over .300 since 2008, Ramirez’ career batting average stands at .312 with an OPS of .996 with 555 home runs and 1,831 runs batted in.
Tom Withers of The Associated Press states that despite the team’s lack of Manny-related plans, the Tribe front office remains “aggressive” in their search for an offensive addition. On Thursday afternoon, it was reported that the team has interest in veteran first baseman Carlos Peña, but was seeking approval and the requisite resources from ownership.