Rangers sign Ramirez to minor league contract

Rangers sign Ramirez to minor league contract

Credit: AFP/Getty Images

This photo taken on March 27, 2013 shows former Boston Red Sox slugger Manny Ramirez poised to swing during his debut game on the island after joining EDA Rhinos in March, in Taiwan's southern Kaohsiung baseball stadium. US baseball legend Manny Ramirez quit Taiwan's EDA Rhinos on June 19, breaking local fans' hearts just three-months after joining the team despite being the highest paid player in the league's history. AFP PHOTO / Mandy Cheng (Photo credit should read Mandy Cheng/AFP/Getty Images)

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by GEORGE RIBA

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WFAA Sports and Associated Press reports

Posted on July 3, 2013 at 4:10 PM

Updated Wednesday, Jul 3 at 5:06 PM

ARLINGTON -- The Texas Rangers have signed Manny Ramirez to minor league contract.

"Manny is just looking for an opportunity," Rangers General Manager Jon Daniels said. "He's agreed to cut his hair and comply with our minor league rules of appearance and discipline and things like that. He's agreed to comply with all those. We'll see what happens."

Texas Manager Ron Washington said he doesn't have expectations for the veteran.

"Well, I’ve got no hopes," Washington said. "I've got no hopes at all. I just know that Manny Ramirez once was one of the greatest RBI guys in the game, so he's just got to go to Round Rock and perform. I think he'll let us know if there is anything there."

Ramirez spent three months playing in Taiwan for the Rhinos before leaving the team on June 20.

"Just because of his name and his stature and what he's done in the game, it's a bigger story than most minor-league contracts obviously, but that's what it is. It's a minor league deal," Daniels said. "It's an opportunity for him to prove something. If he does, we'll consider him. If he doesn't, we are where we are."

Rangers outfielder David Murphy welcomed the club giving Ramirez a chance.

"I played with him for a short time in Boston," Murphy said. "Obviously, he's one of the greatest right-handed hitters in the history of the game. It'll be interesting to see if he can help this team win."

Ramirez hit .352 with eight homers and 43 RBIs for the Rhinos. The team tried to keep the 12-time All-Star, but the 41-year-old slugger wanted to return to his family in New York.

Ramirez's last major league appearance was with Tampa Bay in 2011. He was suspended for 50 games in 2009 while with the Dodgers after testing positive for a banned drug.

"A lot of guys feel that he has changed," Daniels said. "I don't know Manny personally, so I don't have a frame of reference, but they feel what he's gone through the last couple of years that he has changed for the good. Some part of it is to give him an opportunity to prove just that."

He retired in April 2011 instead of serving a 100-game ban for a second positive test, but later agreed to a reduced 50-game suspension and played in the minors for Oakland in 2012.

"Just looking at our club, we are a little left handed," Daniels said. "We could use a right-handed bat. The reality is, Manny hasn't played the outfield in a few years. But if he has a productive bat, it's something we'll look at. If not, it's an easy decision."

Ramirez is 14th on the career home runs list with 555.

The Associated Press contributed to this report

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