The EDA Rhinos said yesterday that they are grateful for Manny Ramirez’s contribution in Taiwan and wish for his successful return to the major leagues.
Rhinos spokeswoman Astrid Lee made the remarks amid reports that the former MLB slugger has signed a minor league contract with the Texas Rangers and will play for the club’s Triple-A Round Rock Express.
Until three weeks ago, the 41-year-old slugger played for the EDA Rhinos in the Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL), where his departure caused a stir, with speculation that he would join a Japanese team.
Ramirez hit .352 with eight homers and 43 RBIs for the Rhinos during his short stint in Taiwan.
In addition to his performance on the field, Ramirez has benefited the CPBL greatly, helping to attract triple ticket sales from last season.
The Rangers, who are in need of a right-handed hitter, will monitor Ramirez’s progress and then consider whether to give him an opportunity to play in the big leagues.
The former MLB slugger, who will be paid the league’s minimum wage, said he will donate his salary to charity.
“I will play and I’ll be ready. I only have to go and play and do well, as I did in Taiwan,” the slugger told ESPNDeportes.com’s Enrique Rojas.
Although whether the 12-time all-star can rediscover his stroke and return to the big leagues remains to be seen, there is zero risk for the Rangers.
“It’s a no-risk flyer in a lot of ways,” Rangers general manager Jon Daniels said.
“Our history, we like giving guys second chances,” Daniels added.