Jul 5, 2013; Round Rock, TX, USA; Round Rock Express left fielder Manny Ramirez warms up prior to the first pitch against the Omaha Storm Chasers at the Dell Diamond. Mandatory Credit: Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports
With the slugger back in town to celebrate the tenth anniversary of the 2004 Red Sox world championship, it appears Manny Ramirez will continue his baseball career in some capacity in 2014.
The Chicago Tribune reported last week that the Cubs have signed the veteran outfielder/designated hitter to a minor league player-coach contract.
Cubs President Theo Epstein has stated that while Ramirez is in the Cubs organization, they have no intention on summoning him to the main roster. Ramirez’s playing time will also be on more of a part-time basis, so as to not take away reps from some of their prospects. The club will also not decline to release Ramirez if a better opportunity were to emerge.
Though he’s made $206,827,769 in salaries and his best days are far behind him, Ramirez continues his attempt to make it back to the majors. The last two seasons, Ramirez spent time with the Oakland A’s and Texas Rangers Triple-A affiliates.
Now 42 years old and really only limited to American League organizations, it’s very unlikely Ramirez will find a big league suitor in 2014 (unless he rakes against right-handed pitching in which case the Red Sox better swoop in).
Given his reputation and past antics, it’s really surprising Ramirez has now joined the coaching ranks. The Cubs are hoping he can pass on his hitting knowledge to their young hitters. And perhaps Ramirez will thrive and enjoy this new role.
His best days are behind him and his Hall of Fame candidacy is all but out the window. But Manny Ramirez is still as unpredictable as he’s ever been. Look no further than his new role as proof.