The Texas Rangers announced that they have signed Manny Ramirez to a minor league contract, in a move first reported by Evan Grant of the Dallas Morning News. Ramirez, 41, will report to Triple-A Round Rock on Thursday and appear in game action within the next few days.
After appearing in the majors in five games at the beginning of the 2011 season with the Rays, Ramirez tested positive for a banned substance and decided to retire. He sat out the rest of the 2011 season before signing a minor league deal with the Oakland Athletics in January of 2012. He appeared in 17 games for Triple-A Sacramento, and hit .302 with 14 RBI before being released on June 15th.
Ramirez began the season with the EDA Rhinos in Taiwan, and impressed scouts with his .352 average, 8 home runs, and 43 RBI. He decided leave the team to pursue opportunities with major league organizations, and received interest from the Washington Nationals in addition to the Rangers, according to Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle.
The Rangers, who may be in search of a power bat in place of the struggling Lance Berkman and the potentially-suspended Nelson Cruz, will take a flier on the 12-time All-Star, who has posted a .312 average with 555 HR and 1831 RBI in 19 major league seasons.