Chicago Cubs sign Manny Ramirez to be a minor league player/coach

USA TODAY Sports

If you're in Des Moines this summer, you might want to make it to an Iowa Cubs game.

The Iowa Cubs have signed former Indians All-Star Manny Ramirez to a minor-league deal. He's headed to their Triple-A affiliate in Des Moines, Iowa, where he'll play a bit and serve as a hitting instructor.

Cubs president Theo Epstein has said there is no chance he'll be called up to Chicago, and that Manny knows that, saying in a press release:

"I'm at the stage of my life and career where I really want to give something back to the game that I love -- the game that has meant so much to me and done so much for me and my family... I have a lot of knowledge to pass on to the next generation -- both what to do and what not to do."

The Cubs are in the midst of a rebuild, and have a number of highly regarded hitting prospects in their system. Javier Baez and Christian Villanueva are among those already playing in Iowa, while Kris Bryant and Jorge Soler could both arrive later this summer.

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Ramirez had his share of flaws as a player (and at times, as a person) in MLB, but no one can question his hitting ability. Manny was one of the smartest hitters in baseball, someone who (despite his goofball persona) took hitting very seriously, both through his study of opposing pitchers, and his countless hours spent honing his swing.

It wouldn't be a surprise if he's able to impart some of what he knows to those prospects and make a postive impact in their development.

I'm sort of jealous that there are fans who'll be getting to watch Manny. I'm going to be in Des Moines for a wedding near the end of June, but sadly, the I-Cubs will be on the road that weekend.

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