Manny Ramirez has landed a contract.
The 41-year-old Ramirez last played in the majors in 2011 as a member of the Tampa Bay Rays. His most prolific stretch of hitting came as a member of the Boston Red Sox for whom he spent eight seasons with, seven of which current Cubs president Theo Epstein was the team’s general manager.
“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.”
Of course Epstein’s statement stopped well short of saying Ramirez was an option for the Cubs.
“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.”
A 12-time All-Star, Ramirez is a career .312 hitter with 555 home runs in 2,302 games at the big league level.
Prior to joining Triple-A Iowa, Ramirez will report to extended spring training.