SPORTS/MLB: Manny Ramirez, returning from baseball in Taiwan, minor league contract with Texas Rangers, possibility of becoming designated hitter for Rangers; also, Luiz Cruz, former Dodger now starting shortshop for New York Yankees....
* Los Angeles Times (AP): "Manny Ramirez gets minor league deal with Rangers" - "Sluggers hasn't played in the majors since 2011. Luis Cruz signs with Yankees." - From the LAT:
The Texas Rangers on Wednesday agreed to terms on a minor league contract with Manny Ramirez, the 41-year-old slugger who hasn't played in the big leagues since 2011. Rangers General Manager Jon Daniels said part of the deal included Ramirez, twice suspended for testing positive for banned drugs, agreeing to cut his hair and "comply with our minor league rules on appearance and discipline."
Ramirez was set to report to triple-A Round Rock (Texas) on Thursday, and he will be a designated hitter whenever he is activated. He played for three months in Taiwan before leaving June 20.
"It's kind of a no-risk flier," said Daniels, indicating there was no time frame for Ramirez to be called up to the majors...........
* Los Angeles Times (Dodgers Now): "Manny Ramirez signs with Rangers, Luis Cruz with Yankees" - From the LAT:
Ramirez played the first half of the season for the EDA Rhinos, batting .352 with eight home runs and 43 RBIs in 49 games. He opted out at the season midpoint in the hopes of connecting with another major league team. And here he is, the player who wouldn’t die. Drew Davidson of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram said if Ramirez makes the Rangers he has agreed to a prorated minimum-wage contract of $500,000 without bonuses or incentives.
Cruz was a major bust for the Dodgers (.127) this season, but apparently a lot of us underestimated just how desperate the Yankees are at shortstop without Derek Jeter. Cruz, 29, will be their fifth starting shortstop this season.
* ESPN: "Rangers sign Manny Ramirez"
* USA Today: "Manny Ramirez signs minor league contract with Rangers"
* Los Angeles Times: "Manny Ramirez signing could spice up Angels-Rangers rivalry"