Manny Ramirez could be returning to professional baseball. Ramirez, who retired on April 8 after being informed he was facing an "issue" under MLB's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program, told ESPNdeportes.com on Thursday that he might play for the Aguilas Cibaenas in the Dominican Republic this winter. According to the report, Ramirez has hinted at a possible return in various text messages since his abrupt retirement.
"Now I'm getting ready to defend the 21st crown of the Aguilas," Ramirez told ESPNdeportes.com on Thursday. Ramirez has not yet made any arrangements to play in the league, according to the report. "We have not had any direct contact with Manny, but for us it would be great if he comes back so that the Dominican fans can see him before his definite retirement from baseball," Luichy Sanchez, a member of the Aguilas' office of baseball operations, told ESPNdeportes.com. Ramirez has not talked about leaving Major League Baseball amid a flurry of rumors regarding his suspension, but four days after his retirement, he texted the following to ESPN Deportes: "Tell the fans to not despair because winter ball is coming soon." Ramirez played with the Aguilas for three seasons early in his career between 1991 and '95, hitting .243 with two home runs and 28 RBIs in 84 games.