Twelve-time All-Star Manny Ramirez plans to continue his baseball career in Taiwan this season, assuming he doesn't receive a Major League deal within the next week.
Ramirez, who had hoped to return to the Majors this season, told ESPNDeportes.com that he has a verbal deal in place with the EDA Rhinos of the China Professional Baseball League. If Ramirez has not received a Major League offer by March 7, he plans to commit to the Rhinos.
The 40-year-old slugger played winter ball in the Dominican Republic for the first time in 18 years this offseason, hitting .298 with eight homers and 27 RBIs in 181 at-bats with Aguilas Cibaenas. So far, that performance wasn't enough to garner enough interest for Ramirez to make another comeback attempt.
He signed a Minor League contract with Oakland last year, but never cracked the Major League roster and eventually asked for his release. He hit .302 with three doubles and 14 RBIs in 17 games with Triple-A Sacramento after serving a 50-game suspension, stemming from his second violation of MLB's drug policy in April 2011.
Ramirez initially retired at the time of the violation and hasn't played in the Majors since, despite the recent comeback attempts. Over 19 seasons with five teams, Ramirez hit 555 homers to go along with a .312 average and 1,831 RBIs.
Paul Casella is a reporter for MLB.com. Follow him on Twitter @paul_casella. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.