Former Boston Red Sox star Manny Ramirez won’t be coming out of retirement to play for Taiwan’s Chinese Professional Baseball League (CPBL) any time soon. The MLB Network’s Jon Heyman posted on Twitter on Wednesday that a contract for Ramirez from the Taiwan League hasn’t “materialized.” Heyman added the former slugger hasn’t given up hope of getting a deal done. The focus now is for the second half of the season.
Last month, Ramirez confirmed to Mark Buckton of the Taiwan Times that he wanted to try and play another season in the CPBL. The outfielder played a season for the EDA Rhinos (now known as the Fubon Guardians) in 2013.
“My goal for 2020 is to find a roster spot in the CPBL,” he told Buckton. “I have been itching to get back in the batter’s box and be able to compete again. I also miss being around teammates and team dinners postgame. I know if I was given the opportunity to come in an organization as a player-coach, it would do great things for the organization and the league.”
After retiring from Major League Baseball in 2011, Ramirez has looked outside the U.S. several times to extend his playing career. Most recently, he played for the Kochi Fighting Dogs of Japan’s Shikoku Island League Plus in 2017.
Tim Daniels of Bleacher Report pointed out that it’s not clear just how much pop Ramirez has in his bat these days. The potential Hall-of-Famer is 50 years old and hasn’t played in the Major Leagues in nine years. It’s worth pointing out Ramirez didn’t retire because he felt like he was done playing.
The former Red Sox and Los Angeles Dodgers star called it quits on MLB after getting a 100-game ban for testing positive for performance-enhancing drugs. He announced his retirement rather than waiting out the suspension and then attempting to sign with another team. He previously served a 50-game ban in 2009 for the same type of infraction.
Daniels also pointed out that Ramirez developed a reputation of being a bit of a headache for managers. He was also a headache for opposing pitchers, making the All-Star game 12 times over a 14 season stretch.
While Manny was “being Manny” he managed to log a .312/.411/.585 triple-slash line with 555 homers in 19 seasons. That put him at 15th all-time. He’s ahead of Hall-of-Fame players like Ted Williams, Mickey Mantle, and Mike Schmidt.
Ramirez won two World Series titles with the Red Sox in 2004 and 2007. He was the World Series MVP in 2004 and won the American League batting title in 2002.