(CBS) — The Chicago Cubs have signed former All-Star player Manny Ramirez to a minor league contract as a player-coach at Triple A Iowa, the Cubs announced in a press release.
“We are excited to welcome Manny to the Cubs organization and look forward to him working with our young hitters,” said Cubs Gm Theo Epstein.” 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.”
Epstein said that Ramirez will not be a part of the Cubs major league roster and will coach full-time and play part-time in Triple A.
The 41-year-old is a lifetime .312 hitter with 555 career home runs in nineteen seasons, including seven seasons with the Boston Red Sox where Epstein was a general manager. He also played 24 games for the White Sox at the end of the 2010 season.
In 2009, Ramirez was suspended 50 games for violating baseball’s performance-enhancing drug policy after testing positive for a women’s fertility drug. While with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2011, he retired after being notified of another violation of baseball’s drug policy. Ramirez signed minor league contracts with the Oakland Athletics in 2012 and the Texas Rangers in 2013.
“I know I am nearing the end of my playing days, but I have a lot of knowledge to pass on to the next generation – both what to do and what not to do,” said Ramirez.
Ramirez will report to Mesa, Ariz. for extended spring training before reporting to Triple A. Iowa.