When the Texas Rangers signed Manny Ramirez to a minor-league deal on July 4, it was a pretty genius move by Rangers general manager Jon Daniels.
Sure, Ramirez is 41 years old and last played a big-league game in 2011 when he played just five games with the Tampa Bay Rays before retiring to avoid a 100-game suspension for violation of the league's drug policy. Sure, Ramirez was known for his wacky ways and "Manny being Manny," but what if it had worked out? What if...
Well, it didn't. And that's OK.
Ramirez hit three home runs in 30 games with Triple-A Round Rock and in hindsight was never a serious possibility to be called up to the Rangers even when the offense was in a horrible way for a stretch of time in July.
His final numbers with the Express? .259 batting average, .328 on-base percentage and a mere .370 slugging percentage, which really tells the story of the once-feared slugger being nothing more than a singles hitter in his advanced age.
Ramirez has 555 career home runs, good enough for 14th on the all-time list, and he probably won't add to that. He's reportedly saying his career isn't over and he wants to find a team he can play for in the bigs. Chances are that won't happen, but if it does, it won't be the Rangers.
Still, the Rangers' risk was very minimal here, as was the investment. Sometimes you win, and sometimes you don't, but it's hard to say the Rangers lost here.