CHICAGO -- It's time to see what Manny Ramirez can do as a player and a coach.
Ramirez will join Triple-A Iowa on Thursday when the team opens a doubleheader against the Colorado Springs Sky Sox. The Cubs signed Ramirez, 42, to a Minor League contract to be a player/coach, and he's been working out at the Cubs' complex in Mesa, Ariz. Ramirez was working with some of the young Minor Leaguers there, coaching them on hitting.
Ramirez has a lifetime .312 batting average, 555 home runs and 1,831 RBIs in 19 Major League seasons. He last appeared in the big leagues in five games with the Rays in 2011. A 12-time All-Star, Ramirez won the 2002 American League batting title and was named the World Series' Most Valuable Player in 2004 while with the Red Sox.
Last season, Ramirez played 30 games with Triple-A Round Rock and hit .259 with three home runs.
In a corresponding move, the Cubs released outfielder Casper Wells, who hit .197 with two doubles and six runs scored in 26 games with Iowa.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.