Sunday, July 7, 2013

Manny Signs Minor League Deal with Rangers

Embattled star Manny Ramirez is one step closer to returning to the Major Leagues.  After hitting .352 with 8 HRs and 43 RBI in 49 games with the Rhinos in Taiwan, the Rangers are obviously hoping that the 41-year-old's ability to dominate the inferior Chinese Baseball league will translate to success back in the states.  Ramirez opted out of his contract in Taiwan last month citing a desire to be closer to his family, and many speculated that the Yankees would be a likely suitor, given their propensity for signing declining free agents with baggage.  But the Rangers were the first team to make a serious offer and Manny jumped at the opportunity.  He reports to AAA Round Rock today and it remains to be seen how he will fit onto the Rangers if he gets called up.  Platooning DH is a possibility as Texas has another aging player at that position currently in Lance Berkman who hits far better from the left side.  Manny can probably still play a little left field too in a pinch.  It's far from certain he will even be called up, however.  Manny latched on with the Athletics in a similar capacity last year, but after serving his second drug suspension and not receiving a call-up from AAA Sacramento despite hitting over .300, he chose to leave the organization.  I'm guessing things will be the same with the Rangers - he'll give it a go for a month and hope for the call, but if not he will just call it a year and go back and play ball in the DR.  It's pretty clear the guy can still contribute and hit for average, but his power stroke has severely diminished and he has not played a full season since 2008.  If the Rangers are willing do deal with the media circus and "Manny being Manny," I'm guessing they could catch lightning in a bottle as the Dodgers did when they traded for him.  The most interesting part of this story that is not getting enough attention is that per the Rangers organizational rules, Ramirez will finally be forced to cut his hair that has been out of control for many years now.  Manny was one of my favorite players when I was a kid, but as the dreads got longer and more disgusting, it just became harder and harder to look at him with a straight face. 

Brewers 35-51, -18.0 (3 v. Reds, 4 @ Diamondbacks)
Reds 50-38, -4.0
(3 @ Brewers, 4 @ Braves)
Twins 37-48, -10.0 (4 @ Rays, 3 @ Yankees)

Erik - 8 (+15 worked)

Peter - 21

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