In a press conference earlier this week in the Dominican Republic, the former Red Sox outfielder announced his intention to play in the country’s winter league for Las Aguilas Cibaenas.
“I will continue training to get ready to play, and we’ll be there,” Ramirez said, according to the Dominican Prospect League. “First I want to see live pitching, God willing I’ll be ready to play next week.”
The decision comes after Ramirez failed to crack the Athletics’ major league roster last season. He spent 17 games on the organization’s Triple-A squad –– where he failed to homer –– before requesting his release in mid-June.
Ramirez attempted to play in the Dominican Winter League last offseason, but was prohibited from participating because he was on Major League Baseball’s inactive list. At that time, he had yet to serve his 50-game suspension for PED use.
After sitting out the 50 games for the Athletics, he’s able to play and wants to showcase his skills for Las Aguilas.
“I feel pretty good physically and I’ve come to play hard and help this team win a championship,” said Ramirez, who has compiled 555 home runs and 1,831 RBIs in 19 major league seasons. “I thank God for the privilege of playing in my hometown.”
The last time Ramirez played winter ball for Las Aguilas was in the offseason between 1994 and 1995.