"We are excited to welcome Manny to the Cubs organization and look forward to him working with our young hitters," president of baseball operations Theo Epstein said. "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."
Epstein continued to say that Ramirez, with whom he has seven years of experience when the two were both in Boston, will not be a candidate to join the major-league team. Ramirez hit .312 with 555 home runs during his major-league career.
Ramirez has reportedly looked good during workouts, but there's plenty of concern about bringing him in. Ramirez is 42, and is one positive drug test away from a lifetime ban. He's seeking a minor-league deal, though won't rule out signing in Japan.
Ramirez is hoping to take on a Jason Giambi-like role with a club. He would be a part-time hitter, and try to provide leadership for the young players on the team. Ramirez has drawn the most interest from AL teams, though no team has sent an offer yet.
Ramirez was in the
"Based on our evaluation there was not a spot for Manny on the club at this time," general manager Jon Daniels said, per the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. "We released him so he could pursue other opportunities."
Daniels said based on the reports he was receiving in the minors, there's no rush to promote Ramirez. He did not elaborate on the club reports. Ramirez is hitting .266/.333/.405 in 79 at-bats.