Cubs sign Manny Ramirez to serve as player-coach for Triple-A Iowa

Rob Bradford
May 25, 2014 - 8:37 am

ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. -- In a move that surely resulted in a few double-takes, the Cubs announced Sunday that former Red Sox slugger Manny Ramirez has been hired to serve as a player-coach for their Triple-A team in Iowa. Here is the statement from team president Theo Epstein: "We are excited to welcome Manny to the Cubs organization and look forward to him working with our young hitters. Manny is not only one of the best hitters of all time, he is also a dedicated student of hitting and has proven to be a gifted teacher with younger teammates who have worked with him in the batting cage. Behind the scenes, he has always been a tireless worker who is very serious about the craft of hitting. Manny has made real mistakes in the past, but he has owned up to them and moved his life in a positive direction the last couple of years. He is in a really great place right now and wants to share the lessons he's learned along the way. We think he deserves another chance and that our young hitters will benefit from it. "While Manny is not and will not be a fit on the Cubs' Major League roster, we do think at this stage of his life he's a nice fit as a mentor for some of the young, talented hitters we have in the organization. Manny will coach full-time and play part-time in a limited role that does not take at-bats away from our prospects. If he shows there is still some magic in his bat, perhaps he will find his way to the Major Leagues and help another team, but that is not why he is here. We are thrilled that he wants to work with our young hitters and make a difference." Ramirez will report to the Cubs' spring training facility in Mesa, Ariz. for at-bats in extended spring training before reporting to Iowa. For more on the Ramirez' signing, click here.