The Chicago Cubs announced Sunday that they have signed 12-time All Star Manny Ramirez to be a player-coach for Triple-A Iowa.
“We are excited to welcome Manny to the Cubs organization and look forward to him working with our young hitters,” Cubs general manager Theo Epstein said in a statement.
“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.”
Ramirez hasn’t played in the majors since 2011, when he appeared in five games for the Tampa Bay Rays. He was signed by the Texas Rangers to a minor-league deal last July, but never made it to the majors.
Even though Ramirez would still like to return to the majors someday, he’s willing to share the wisdom and experiences he’s earned from playing 19 major-league seasons with Chicago’s prospects.
“The Cubs have some very talented young hitters, and I would love nothing more than to make a positive impact on their careers,” Ramirez said. 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 is one of the most accomplished hitters in recent MLB history. The 41-year-old has hit 555 home runs and won two World Series (2004, 2007) with the Boston Red Sox, including a World Series MVP (2004). His 29 postseason home runs are a major-league record.