Former major leaguer Manny Ramirez prepares to take a swing while playing… (MANDY CHENG / AFP/Getty…)
Old Dodgers never die, they just play somewhere else.
Recently departed Luis Cruz must have known something. After clearing waivers and electing Tuesday to bypass a minor league assignment to opt for free agency, he signed with the Yankees. He is actually scheduled to be their starting shortstop Wednesday.
Manny Ramirez, not-so-recently departed but defying all and hanging in there after a stint playing in Taiwan this spring, Wednesday signed a minor league deal with the Texas Rangers.
Ramirez is so serious about this comeback at age 41, he’s even willing to cut his dreadlocks. He is scheduled to join the Rangers' triple-A Round Rock (Texas) team on Thursday.
He last played in the majors in 2011, spending five games with the Tampa Bay Rays before again testing positive for testosterone. Initially he retired, but he signed a minor league deal last year with the Oakland Athletics while serving out a 50-game suspension. He was released in June 2012 and did not play professionally again until showing up this spring in Taiwan.
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.