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Former All-Star Manny Ramirez signs with A's

Manny Ramirez, a 12-times All-Star who retired last year rather than face a 100-game ban over a drug-policy issue, agreed to a deal with the Oakland Athletics, the team said on Monday.

"The #Athletics have officially agreed to terms with Manny Ramirez on a minor league contract for the 2012 season," the team said on its Twitter account. "Ramirez will report to spring training as a non-roster invitee by the end of this week."

Terms of the deal were not disclosed by the Athletics but earlier reports said Ramirez, 39, is expected to earn $500,000, slightly above the league minimum. He is also expected to be used by Oakland as a designated hitter.

Ramirez, who was suspended 50 games in 2009 for violating Major League Baseball's (MLB) drug policy, retired last April after being notified of a drug-policy issue.

He applied for reinstatement in December and, as a condition of his return, will serve a 50-game ban that will begin with the first game he is eligible to play.

Ramirez made his name with the Cleveland Indians and Boston but had spells with the Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox and Tampa Bay Rays toward the end of his career.

(Reporting By Gene Cherry in Salvo North Carolina; Editing by Frank Pingue)