Newburyport Daily News
---- — ARLINGTON, Texas (AP) — Manny Ramirez is a free agent again after the Texas Rangers released him from his minor league contract.
The Rangers released Ramirez yesterday, just more than five weeks after he started playing for Triple-A Round Rock.
“Based on our evaluation, there was not a spot for Manny on the club at this time,” Rangers general Jon Daniels said. “We released him so he could pursue other opportunities if he so chooses.”
The 41-year-old Ramirez hit .259 with three home runs and 13 RBIs in 30 games for Triple-A Round Rock. All of his homers came in the first eight games.
Ramirez never played for the AL West leaders, even after All-Star slugger Nelson Cruz was suspended last week by Major League Baseball for the final 50 games of the season. They have since acquired right fielder Alex Rios from the Chicago White Sox.
A 12-time All-Star, Ramirez is a .312 career hitter and is 14th on the career home runs list with 555. He started out this season playing in Taiwan, where he hit .352 with eight homers and 43 RBIs.
Ramirez was suspended for 50 games in 2009 while with the Los Angeles Dodgers after testing positive for a banned drug. He retired in April 2011 instead of serving a 100-game ban for a second positive test while with Tampa Bay, but later agreed to a reduced 50-game suspension and played in the minors for Oakland in 2012. He won two World Series with Boston.
Ramirez hit 17 homers in the final 53 games of 2008 after being traded from Boston to Los Angeles, but he has just 28 since then because of injuries and the suspensions. He was 1 for 17 without a homer with Tampa when the second drug suspension hit two years ago.