Is Duquette interested in Manny Ramirez?

DALLAS - As soon as news broke earlier today that outfielder Manny Ramirez had applied for reinstatement, everyone here pretty much held the same thought:

Would Dan Duquette try to sign him again?

Duquette gave Ramirez an eight-year, $160 million deal with the Red Sox back in December 2000. Ramirez could be secured at a much lower rate this winter, and the Orioles are looking to add another bat to their lineup.

The designated hitter slot is open, but is Duquette open to a reunion?

He laughed at the suggestion and glanced at manager Buck Showalter, who sat at a table behind him.

"Manny's always interesting and he's never predictable," Duquette said. "I don't know too much about the mechanics of what we would have to do or if we could do it, but Manny's always a lot of fun to be around and he's always entertaining."

Ramirez would probably have to serve a 50-game suspension after failing a drug test and "retiring" from the Rays on April 8.

There's no way that the Orioles would put Ramirez in left field, especially after Duquette said he wanted to improve the club's defense. And it's difficult to imagine Showalter and Ramirez co-existing for longer than a few minutes.

Would the Orioles be interested in signing a veteran slugger for the DH slot, whether it's Ramirez, David Ortiz or someone else from that mold?

"Well, if you talk to Buck, he's expressed the desire to have a DH that does more than just DH," Duquette said.

"Depending on who it is," Showalter said. "We're always open to all those things. I don't think we're in a position to not examine everything and see what might be a fit. We'd like to be able to move some guys in and out of that role, but if the right guy presented himself, that's not a problem."

I'm going to guess that Ramirez isn't the right guy.

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