Manny Ramirez tried all winter long to find a team that would be willing to give him a shot at continuing his baseball career. Now, it appears as if he has found one. Ramirez couldn’t get a job, or even a tryout, with an American League club this winter but will now be heading overseas to join the EDA Rhinos of the China Professional League in Taiwan.
The deal is not official at this time and is a handshake deal only right now but by March 7th it could become official and Ramirez, 41 in May, will try to continue to play baseball for a living. Ramirez last played Major League Baseball when he played five games for the Tampa Bay Rays in 2011 before retiring rather than face suspension for a failed PED test. With the Rays, Ramirez hit only .059, accumulating only one hit in 17 at bats.
Ramirez did sign on with the Oakland Athletics last season after getting a special dispensation to unretired and to claim he had served his suspension for PED use while retired but was released in June before getting a call-up.
Ramirez, a 19-year veteran, has appeared in 12 All-Star games, won two World Series’ with the Boston Red Sox, and has hit 555 home runs and driven in 1,831 runs while hitting .312/.411/.585. He finished third in the MVP voting twice but never higher during his career and will be mostly remembered for his antics and steroid use as he was for being a dangerous hitter.
Ramirez did play in the Dominican Winter League recently in hopes that he would catch a team’s eye. However, with his reputation for being a distraction, a steroid liability, and other risks that go along with a ballplayer in their 40s no team took a chance on him. Now, he will at least be able to continue the sport he loves to play. However, Manny being Manny could mean he never steps foot in Taiwan and instead takes a job as Wally, the Boston Red Sox’s mascot.