When Manny Ramirez said in December that he wanted to return to baseball, it was fair to ask if any team would -- or should -- care.
Two months later, Ramirez hasn't yet signed but there is interest. According to sources, Ramirez has been talking to both the A's and Orioles about a deal to play in 2012, and indications are both teams have significant interest in signing him.
Ramirez still needs to serve the drug suspension that pushed him into "retirement" last April, and he would miss the first 50 games of the season.
The A's and Orioles both make sense for Ramirez, as both had designated hitters are gone via free agency (Hideki Matsui for the A's, Vladimir Guerrero for the O's). And both teams take a chance, because neither is expected to contend this year.
The Orioles also have a connection, as new Orioles general manager Dan Duquette signed Ramirez to a six-year, $120 million contract 11 years ago with the Red Sox. As for the A's, owner Lew Wolff said last week that he wasn't opposed to adding Ramirez.
It's hard to know how effective Ramirez can be now, at age 39 (and he'll be nearly 40 by the time the 50-game suspension is up). Ramirez was 1-for-17 in his five games last April with the Rays, and he drove in just two runs in 24 games for the White Sox after they picked him up at midseason in 2010.