Manny Ramirez has signed a deal in the minor leagues with the Texas Rangers. After spending a short time playing baseball in Taiwan, it appears the 41-year-old is back in the US to stay — at least for now.
Ramirez reported on Thursday to the Class AAA Round Rock Express where he will work out with the team for a few days before he is activated.
The 12-time All-Star has been out of the major leagues for two years after playing five games in April 2011 with the Tampa Bay Rays. After the short stint, Ramirez opted for retirement when faced with a 100-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs.
In December 2011, Manny Ramirez appealed and was able to reduce the suspension to 50 games. He served the suspension after he signed a minor league contract with the Oakland Athletics in the 2012 season.
Rangers general manager Jon Daniels spoke on Wednesday about the decision to sign Manny Ramirez, saying:
“Obviously, with our history, we like giving guys second chances. We know on and off the field the good and the bad in Manny’s career. We’re inclined to give him an opportunity here.”
On Wednesday, Rangers second baseman also spoke about Ramirez, calling him “one of the greatest right-handed hitters of all-time.” Daniels added that Ramirez will fit into the Rangers ‘ “winning culture here in Arlington and throughout our organization.”
Manny Ramirez began his MLB career with the Cleveland Indians. After eight seasons, he joined the Boston Red Sox. In eight seasons in Massachusetts, Manny was able to win two World Series. He has also spend time with the Los Angeles Dodgers and the Chicago White Sox. Daniels added to reporters on Wednesday:
“If he’s productive and we feel he’ll fit our culture in the clubhouse, we’ll give him an opportunity. If either of those ends don’t pan out, kind of no harm, no foul.”
Do you think the Rangers made the right decision to hire Manny Ramirez on a minor league contract?