Manny Ramirez will not be playing for the Texas Rangers this season.
Jeff Wilson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reports the organization has released the former All-Star slugger:
Rangers general manager Jon Daniels also issued a statement, via MLBlogs Network: “Based on our evaluation, there was not a spot for Manny on the club at this time. We released him so he could pursue other opportunities if he so chooses.”
The Rangers signed Ramirez to a minor league deal back in early July after he had been playing overseas in Taiwan, per Todd Wills of ESPN Dallas. The outfielder and designated hitter has been playing for Triple-A Round Rock ever since.
In 30 games in the minor leagues, Ramirez hit .259/.328/.370 with three home runs, 13 RBI and seven runs. He walked 8.4 percent of the time and struck out 11.8 percent of the time. He wasn’t overly impressive in his time with Round Rock, but he still could’ve aided the Texas offense down the stretch.
Texas is in the midst of a tight battle for the American League West crown with the Oakland Athletics, but it recently lost a key contributor. Nelson Cruz was suspended for the remainder of the regular season for his involvement in the Biogenesis scandal, according to Kevin Baxter of the Los Angeles Times.
At the time of the suspension, some may have gotten their hopes up that Ramirez was going to be promoted to help fill the void in Texas’ outfield. But that didn’t happen, as the organization decided to go with an external option instead of an internal one. The team traded for Alex Rios on Aug. 9, per T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com.
The Rangers are also awaiting the return of Lance Berkman. The slugger is currently making a few rehab starts in Triple-A and even hit a home run on Aug. 10, according to Sullivan. As Bleacher Report’s Will Carroll points out, the release of Ramirez may signal an upcoming activation of Berkman:
Ramirez has played 19 seasons in Major League Baseball and has been selected to the MLB All-Star Game 12 times in his career. He’s a .312/.411/.585 career hitter with 555 home runs and 1,831 RBI.
Whether he eventually makes a return to the big leagues remains to be seen, but it won’t be with Texas in 2013.
All statistics in this article were obtained via FanGraphs unless otherwise noted and are current through August 12.