Per the various beat writers, Jon Daniels has confirmed that the Rangers have signed Manny Ramirez to a minor league contract. He will work out for a few days with Round Rock, starting Thursday, then be activated.
Evan Grant has the story, with quotes from Daniels, here.
Ramirez had been playing in Taiwan until recently, and last was in the majors with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2011, playing five games before testing positive for elevated testosterone and "retiring" in lieu of being suspended.
Ramirez served his suspension in 2012, then spent 17 games with the A's AAA farm club in Sacramento, posting a .302/.348/.349 line in 69 plate appearances.
Manny was one of the dominant hitters of the last 20 years, putting up a career .312/.411/.585 line over the course of 19 seasons. However, he is 41 years old, and in his last full season in the majors, in 2010, he put up a .298/.409/.460 line.
The Rangers are presumably looking at Ramirez as a potential righthanded bench bat and corner outfield option.
I'm not even really sure how to react to this. This is probably, ultimately, meaningless, because the likelihood that Manny has enough gas left in the tank to contribute at the major league level is small. Ramirez was a terrible outfielder even when he was younger, and he'd almost certainly be limited to DH duties. And of course, Manny was a notorious distraction even when he was good, with the "Manny Being Manny" drama that followed him around in Boston.
This reeks of desperation. It makes me wonder if 1) Jeff Baker is going to need surgery, and thus the team's righthanded 4C guy is done for the year, or if 2) the team believes a suspension for Nelson Cruz is imminent.
Even if both those things were true, though, adding Manny Ramirez to the mix seems like the longest of long shots.
I don't get it.