Manny Ramirez signed a minor-league deal with the Texas Rangers with the thought that it was a no-risk, possibly high-reward flyer the front office was taking on an aging veteran that hasn't played meaningful MLB baseball since 2010 and has been disgraced a couple of times in PED investigations and has served two suspensions.
Ramirez is arguably one of the greatest right-handed hitters of all time with Miguel Cabrera hot on his heels and is a 12-time all-star has 555 homers and is a career .312 hitter with a career on-base percentage of .411, yes that's over a 19-year career. Pretty incredible.
He also comes with a lot of baggage and stigma of not being a real good teammate at times and having an awful work ethic.
But he might fit in the Rangers' plans for after the all-star break after he's had a good showing in nine games with the Triple-A Round Rock Express, with whom he's hit three homers and is hitting .300 with a .600 slugging percentage.
Nolan Ryan, the Rangers' CEO, has seen Ramirez play in Round Rock and thinks he's definitely in better shape than he was in 2012 when he played briefly in the Oakland A's farm system.
"I saw him two days last week, and I told [Rangers GM] Jon Daniels that my opinion is I don’t have one yet,” Ryan told ESPN 103.3 FM. “I didn’t see anything that made me think he couldn’t hit, but I didn’t see anything that convinced me that he’s ready, either. I just felt like he needed more at bats and we needed to watch him.”
Then again, MLB.com's T.R. Sullivan, resident Rangers' guru, is saying there's "no chance" the Rangers bring him up after the all-star break. Nelson Cruz's future with the Biogenesis investigation could change the club's tune, but as for now, there are some conflicting reports from different people.
With Lance Berkman on the disabled list and Jeff Baker showing no signs of returning from the DL any time soon, the Rangers could possibly give it a shot if they don't find someone to acquire at the MLB trade deadline later this month.