Ramón Laureano and the Athletics agreed to one-year contract terms this offseason and now the veteran outfielder is ready to reward the franchise for their belief in him.
Most importantly, Laureano wants to put his 2021 PED suspension behind him and the 2023 MLB season presents a fresh start, where he can play from Day 1. The 28-year-old served an 80-game suspension and 27 games carried over into the 2022 MLB season.
“I had no confidence. That’s the truth,” Laureano told the San Francisco Chronicle’s John Shea. “Coming from the suspension, you feel a little weird and different, and I wasn’t really preparing like I initially had in the past. That’s the No. 1.”
Along with the PED suspension, Laureano dealt with oblique, hamstring and hip injuries that resulted in the outfielder producing career lows last season, further affecting his confidence.
“It’s tough when you’re facing something that you’re judged for by your peers to get acceptance back,” manager Mark Kotsay said. “I think he fought with that a little bit.”
Eventually, Laureano did show emotion with an outburst in the A’s dugout in early September, as last season hadn’t gone the way he and the team hoped.
Healthy physically and mentally to begin this season, Laureano will look to replicate his 2019 MLB season, his best as a major leaguer. The A’s star hit .288 while hammering 24 home runs and collecting 67 RBI.
On an A's team that’s rebuilding, Kotsay will welcome that potential offensive production.
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The A’s and Laureano begin the new season with a three-game series against the Los Angeles Angels starting on March 30 at the Oakland Coliseum.