The Manny Ramirez era in Oakland has ended before the designated hitter played a game for the A's.
Ramirez, 40, who had been playing at Triple-A Sacramento, was granted his request to be released by the organization Friday. The move was announced shortly before the A's turned a five-run first inning into a 10-2 victory over the San Diego Padres in front of 24,528 at the O.co Coliseum.
"We wish him the best. He was great in Sacramento," A's assistant general manager David Forst said. "Unfortunately, there wasn't an opportunity to get him here. I wasn't surprised, and if he thinks he has a better shot somewhere else, I hope he does."
The A's offensive display provided a demonstration as to why Ramirez wanted out. They have scored 36 runs during a four-game winning streak, their most over a four-game stretch since scoring 48 in June 2004.
So while Ramirez was hitting .302 with no home runs in 17 games at Sacramento, there weren't any obvious candidates for him to replace on the major league roster. That meant his attempt to return to the majors after a 50-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball's drug policy wouldn't happen in Oakland.
"I was playing better," Ramirez told the San Francisco Chronicle. "I got my timing, I got my rhythm. But there wasn't a place for me to play. What can I do? I don't own the team."
River Cats spokesman Zak Basch said Ramirez was at Raley Field before a game against Tacoma. Basch said the River Cats didn't know the move was coming.
"He was just trying to find his timing," said Brandon Moss, who played with Ramirez in Sacramento. "He would go up and have some good at-bats and have some where he'd go up there and kind of be in-between, but he didn't look bad. I'm surprised to hear that."
He wasn't the only offensive star. Cliff Pennington celebrated his 28th birthday by going 3 for 3 with two RBIs. He had a double, a walk and a steal.
"You can't go that long without realizing where you're at," Blackley said of the long period between wins. "I'm just glad I finally got that monkey off my back."
Manager Bob Melvin said a corresponding roster move will be announced Saturday.
McCarthy came home in the middle of the team's trip earlier in the week to undergo an MRI exam, which revealed no structural damage.
"Very encouraged that we won't have to D.L. him," Melvin said. "Whether (he starts) early next week, there's potential for that. I think that's what we're hoping for at this point."
McCarthy said he felt good after the session, saying he will "start in a few days" and that he's "good to go."
Reliever Jordan Norberto also threw a bullpen session, and Melvin said that the left-hander will throw another one Sunday and is close to returning.
"It literally is day to day, but we feel like we have a few more options with being able to potentially D.H. him here," Melvin said.
Baseball America reported that Russell, a client of agent Scott Boras, signed for $2.65 million.
Baseball America also reported that the A's agreed to terms with their second pick, Upland High third baseman Daniel Robertson, for a bonus of $1.5 million.
San Diego (Ross Ohlendorf 1-0) at A's (Tyson Ross 2-6), 1:05 p.m. CSNCA