Mandatory Credit: Brendan Maloney-USA TODAY Sports
The Chicago Cubs have reached a minor-league deal with Manny Ramirez on Sunday, and he will report to Triple-A Iowa, where he will be a player-coach, reports CSN Chicago’s Patrick Mooney.
"In a statement, team president Theo Epstein emphasized that Ramirez, 41, “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,” Epstein said of Ramirez, a lifetime .312 hitter with 555 home runs in 19 major league seasons.“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 is familiar with Ramirez having been together for seven seasons during Ramirez’s prime with the Red Sox. The 41-year-old Ramirez has not played in the majors since 2011 and last played within the Texas Rangers organization. Ramirez served a 100-game suspension for PED use that caused him to briefly retire before he served a reduced 50-game ban with the A’s on a minor-league deal before the 2012 season. Ramirez is a career .312/.411/.585 hitter.
This move is likely to help top prospects like Javier Baez and Kris Bryant develop their hitting and develop more effective at-bats.