Billy Beane spoke with reporters from the A's spring training facility Tuesday, for the first time publicly addressing his team's acquisition of veteran slugger Manny Ramirez. Among the jokes, the A's GM offered the following insights:
"There was need, and we really couldn't find a reason not to. It's low-risk, high-reward. We've got some time to evaluate him, evaluate the situation with some of the younger guys. There's little to no commitment. It would be foolish not to."
"When you take in health and recent production -- albeit Manny didn't play last year -- we thought he has the chance of being the most productive. And he has a pretty good health track record given the amount of time he's played."
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"It was a 'We need a fourth hitter who can hit' move. What we need is someone with some presence in the middle, someone who's hit there before. I think we have some guys who surround that spot, but don't know if someone has presence to fill the No. 4 slot. I think there's something to be said for that."
RATTO: Beane hopes Manny will become 'restaurant-ready'
"From the first conversation I had with his representative, he made it clear money was not an issue, and he wanted to play and make sure he went out the right way. From everything I've heard about Manny, he loves to play. He loves to hit. A lot of guys who play that long, that's the reason. It's obvious by the contract that we negotiated with him."
RATTO: Beane adding Manny a perfectly A's solution
"We took a lot of opinions in. We tried to make sure it was first-hand opinions as opposed to what people had heard. Everyone who had first-hand experience came back and said it was very positive."