The Chicago Cubs have signed Manny Ramirez.
No, this is not some postponed April Fools Day prank, the Cubs have actually signed Manny Ramirez.
The Cubs announced on Sunday that they have signed Ramirez to a minor league contract. Ramirez will be a player-coach with the Iowa Cubs.
Ramirez last played in the Major Leagues in 2011 with the Tampa Bay Rays. Ramirez had 1 hit in 17 at bats with the Rays that season. Ramirez has played with the Oakland Athletics’ minor-league affiliate in 2012, and the Texas Rangers’ minor-league affiliate in 2013.
Ramirez has had an historic career in Major League Baseball. Ramirez has a career line of .312/.411/.585 with 555 home runs with 1,831 RBIs.
Cubs’ president Theo Epstein spoke on Sunday about the Cubs’ acquisition of Ramirez.
‘We are excited to welcome Manny to the Cubs organization and look forward to him working with our young hitters,” Epstein said. “Manny is not only one of the best hitters of all time, he is also a dedicated student of hitting and has proven to be a gifted teacher with younger teammates who have worked with him in the batting cage. Behind the scenes he has always been a tireless worker who is very serious about the craft of hitting. Manny has made real mistakes in the past but he has owned up to them and moved his life in a positive direction the last couple of years. He is in a really great place right now and wants to share the lessons he’s learned along the way. We think he deserves another chance and that our young hitters will benefit from it.”
“While Manny is not and will not be a fit on the Cubs major league roster, we do think at this stage of his life he’s a nice fit as a mentor for some of the young talented hitters we have in the organization. Manny will coach full-time and play part-time in a limited role that does not take at-bats away from our prospects. If he shows there is still some magic in his bat, perhaps he will find his way to the major leagues and help another team, but that is not why he is here. We are thrilled that he wants to work with our young hitters and make a difference.”-Epstein, Chicago Cubs
Leave it to Epstein to keep the door open for possibly trading Ramirez down the line.
Ramirez is also excited about his new role with the Cubs.
“I’m at the stage of my life and career where I really want to give something back to the game that I love — the game that has meant so much to me and done so much for me and my family,” Ramirez said. “I know I am nearing the end of my playing days, but I have a lot of knowledge to pass on to the next generation – both what to do and what not to do. The Cubs have some very talented young hitters, and I would love nothing more than to make a positive impact on their careers. I am passionate about baseball and about hitting, and I have a lot to offer. While I would love to return to the major leagues, I leave that in God’s hands. My focus will be on working with the young hitters, making sure they don’t make the same mistakes I made, and helping the team any way I can.-Ramirez, Chicago Cubs
Ramirez will report to Arizona for an extended Spring Training before being assigned to Iowa.