Rangers sign Manny Ramirez

Updated: July 4, 2013, 10:57 AM ET
By Todd Wills | Special to ESPNDallas.com

ARLINGTON, Texas -- The Texas Rangers took what general manager Jon Daniels called a "flier" on Wednesday, agreeing to terms on a minor-league deal with outfielder Manny Ramirez, who said he will donate his salary to charity.

"[My salary] is the minimum wage, but for me it's too much money," Ramirez told ESPNDeportes.com's Enrique Rojas.

Ramirez, 41, was assigned to Triple-A Round Rock and will report there on Thursday. He will work out with Round Rock before he plays in a game.

"I feel blessed spiritually; I have no words to describe how happy I am," Ramirez said.

The Rangers, in need of a right-handed bat, will monitor Ramirez's progress and then will see whether they are inclined to give him an opportunity in the big leagues.

"He has to earn our consideration first," Daniels said.

"I will play and I'll be ready," the slugger said. "I only have to go and play and do well as I did in Taiwan. No commitments."

Rangers catcher A.J. Pierzynski, Ramirez's teammate for a brief stint with the Chicago White Sox in 2010, says he'd welcome a productive Ramirez in the lineup.

"If he can help us, I'm all for it," Pierzynski said. "He's a Hall of Fame hitter. It's hard to argue with that."

The Rangers did not scout Ramirez while he played this season for Taiwan's EDA Rhinos of the Chinese Professional Baseball League.

The Rangers did reach out to clubs that had seen him play in Taiwan, where he batted .352 with eight home runs, 13 doubles and 43 RBIs. Ramirez was removed from the Rhinos' active roster on June 19.

Nelson Cruz, who played against Ramirez in the Dominican Winter League this past offseason, said it looked like the same-old Manny to him, even at 41.

"He hit two home runs," Cruz said. "One to right field and one to right-center. He hit hard line drives. What I saw, he looked good."

Ramirez, a 12-time All-Star who finished in the top six in the Most Valuable Player balloting seven different times, has a career slash line of a .312 batting average, a .411 on-base percentage and a .585 slugging percentage. He's one of six players in major league history with those minimums in each of those categories along with Hall of Famers Jimmie Foxx, Lou Gehrig, Hank Greenberg, Babe Ruth and Ted Williams.

Ramirez has agreed to the Rangers' minor league rules, including cutting his hair.

"We'll see what happens," Daniels said.

Rangers hitting coach Dave Magadan, who served the same role with Boston during Ramirez's final two seasons with the Red Sox in 2007 and '08, was one of the people Daniels talked to about the risk of signing Ramirez.

Magadan said while things ended "ugly" for Ramirez in Boston, he has made changes in his life. The two have talked on the phone a few times in the past five years.

"He's a born-again guy," Magadan said. "That's a big part of his life. Hopefully that changes him in a good way. It usually does."

Ramirez last played in the majors in 2011, when he appeared in five games with the Tampa Bay Rays. However, he retired in April 2011 after testing positive for elevated testosterone. Ramirez said after the season that he wanted to play again. Major League Baseball and the players' union agreed he would serve a 50-game suspension, and Ramirez played in the minors for Oakland in 2012 before asking for his release in June.

"The Bible says that we have to be passed through the fire to see what we're made of. I went through the fire and then came my blessing," Ramirez said.

Todd Wills is a regular contributor to ESPNDallas.com. Information from ESPNDeportes.com's Enrique Rojas and The Associated Press was used in this report.

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