San Diego, CA, United States (4E Sports) – The Chicago Cubs have signed Manny Ramirez, 41, to a player-coach contract for Triple-A Iowa.
Team president Theo Epstein said that Ramirez is not only one of the best hitters of all time but also a dedicated student of hitting and has proven to be a gifted teacher.
But he emphasized that Ramirez doesn’t 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.
If Ramirez shows there is still some magic in his bat, Epstein said that perhaps he will find his way to other major league teams.
Ramirez was suspended in 2009 for a violation of Major League Baseball’s drug policy and again in 2011.
He played for the White Sox at the end of the 2010 season but has not swung a bat in the majors since 2011.
Ramirez will report to the Cubs’ spring training facility in Mesa, Ariz., for at-bats in extended spring training before joining Iowa.