PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. (AP) – Manny Ramirez is ahead of schedule in his bid to re-establish himself as one of the most fearsome sluggers in baseball.
The 12-time All-Star worked out with the Tampa Bay Rays for the first time Thursday, arriving at spring training with what he said was a “chip on my shoulder” and motivated to prove he’s still a productive player.
Ramirez agreed to a $2 million, one-year contract, joining Johnny Damon as the biggest offseason acquisitions by the AL East champions.
Slowed by injuries, the 38-year-old hit .298 with nine homers and 42 RBIs in 90 games for the Los Angeles Dodgers and Chicago White Sox last season.
He’ll be primarily a designated hitter with Tampa Bay, but there’s a chance he’ll occasionally play left field, too.
(Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)