How desperate are the Texas Rangers to add some hitting?
Apparently desperate enough to visit Mannywood.
The club on Wednesday agreed to a deal with 41-year-old Manny Ramirez on a minor league deal. Ramirez, who recently left a Taiwanese team to give himself another shot at returning to the majors for the first time since 2011, will report to Triple-A Round Rock. He has informed the Rangers that, among other things, he will cut his hair to a traditional length and abide by all rules for other Rangers minor leaguers.
`It’s a no-risk flyer in a lot of ways,” Rangers GM Jon Daniels said. “Our history, we like giving guys second chances. We know on and off the field the good and bad of Manny’s career, but we’re inclined to give him an opportunity here.
“When it comes to playing for the Rangers, two things are important to us,” Daniels added. “You have to be talented and prouductive. And just as important, you have to fit our winning culture. Those are going to be the two tests we’ll judge Manny by.”
Ramirez hit .352 with eight home runs and 43 RBIs in 49 games for the EDA Rhinos, but left the team in mid-June. According to Rhinos officials, Ramirez told the club he missed his family in New York.
Daniels told reporters that the Rangers didn't have a scout look at home nor did they have a scout observe him work out. Ramirez has agreed to cut his hair to comply with the Rangers' minor league appearance policy.
According to his agent, Barry Praver, however, Ramirez missed playing in the majors.
According to FoxSports.com, Praver said: “The reason he decided not to return for the second half was to free himself to be available to play in the United States. This whole thing with Manny in Taiwan was a phenomenon. He invigorated the league. Attendance went through the roof. It was a very positive experience for both sides.
“Manny was so invigorated by his play there that he wants to return to the majors.”
Ramirez played in five games for Tampa Bay in 2011 before testing positive for elevated levels of testosterone, which would have netted him a 100-game suspension. He agreed to retire instead, but decided to return for 2012. MLB and the MLB Players Association agreed he would serve another 50-game suspension, which he did while playing in the minors for Oakland. He took his release in June having not reached the majors and went to Taiwan for this season.