Former Boston Red Sox star slugger Manny Ramirez wants to return to professional baseball and play in the Chinese Professional Baseball League in Taiwan, he told the Taiwan Times. He will turn 48 on May 30.
“My goal for 2020, is to find a roster spot in the CPBL,” Ramirez said. “I have been itching to get back in the batter’s box and be able to compete again.”
Ramirez previously played in Taiwan with the EDL Rhinos (now the Fubon Guardians) in 2013. He hit .352 with eight home runs and 43 RBIs in 49 games.
The CPBL features five teams and is among the first professional sports leagues to return to action amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Ramirez said that he has received some interest and offers of playing in the Atlantic League but would prefer returning to Taiwan.
He last played in the Major Leagues with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2011. In 19 seasons he hit 555 home runs and hit .312/.411/.585. He spent seven seasons with the Red Sox and won World Series in 2004 and 2007. He served a 50-game suspension for steroid use in 2009 while playing with the Dodgers. He was later handed a 100-game ban in 2011 for testing positive for using performance-enhancing drugs in spring training, which led to his decision to not accept the suspension but retire after playing in only five games with the Rays that season.
Ramirez has been on the BBWAA Hall of Fame ballot for four years and received 28.2% of votes (112 votes), which is far below the 75% or 298 needed for election.
Ramirez currently lives in South Florida with his wife and three sons.