Manny Ramirez wasn’t expected to get another chance – his what, third, now? – but he was able to surprise us all when the Texas Rangers agreed to sign him to a minor league deal at the start of July. It was widely viewed as a no risk effort on their part, but one that few expected to truly pan out. Within a few weeks it started to become evident that Ramirez wasn’t going to be called up by the Rangers and late Tuesday the team moved to grant Ramirez his release in order to “allow him to explore other options”, though it’s tough to say whether there truly are other options available to him at this point in his career.
Ramirez’s tenure with the Rangers’ Triple-A affiliate lasted just 30 games. In 119 PA he batted .259/.328/.370 with just 3 HR, all of which came during his first week with the team.
It’s no secret that Ramirez had been considered among the game’s greatest right-handed hitters in history before a pair of performance enhancing drug related suspensions pushed him out of the game early. Over a 19 year career he hit .312/.411/.585 with 555 HR, 9 Silver Slugger Awards, 9 Top 10 MVP Award finishes, and 12 All Star Game appearances. He’s been caught cheating – more than once – and ultimately we have no way of knowing what portion of that career was artificially enhanced so it all remains suspect.
Ramirez was forced to play in Taiwan at the start of the 2013 season, as he couldn’t find a place to play anywhere else. He’d played well enough there to warrant this one last chance with the Rangers, but we may have seen the last of Manny Ramirez on a baseball diamond.