News broke this afternoon that Tampa Bay Rays designated hitter Manny Ramirez will be retiring from baseball immediately. The MLB Drug Program reportedly informed Ramirez of another "issue," and he chose to retire rather than undergo a second investigation.
The Rays acquired Manny Ramirez this offseason for a relatively cheap $2 million (along with Johnny Damon for about $7 million). Ramirez was expected to take the majority of at bats at the DH position in 2011, but now the Rays must look to fill the hole left from his sudden retirement. The team has several internal options, such as shifting Dan Johnson to the DH position and bringing Florida native Casey Kotchman up from the minors.
The Rays also may look to bring up recently acquired sluggers Brandon Guyer (outfielder) or Robinson Chirinos (catcher and infielder) who could serve in the DH role. Eventually, the Rays may look to swing a trade or find some aging slugger on the free agent market, but these options would be further down the road.