The 40-year-old former All-Star told ESPNdeportes.com Tuesday that if he does not sign with a major league team by March 7, he will travel to Taiwan and play this season for the EDA Rhinos of the China Professional Baseball League.
“I will play in Taiwan if I cannot get work in the U.S. by that deadline,” Ramirez told ESPN’s Enrique Rojas. “It will be a new experience, to experience another culture while I keep doing what I love and what I’ve done in all my life, playing baseball.”
The slugger has reportedly been “in talks” with the Rhinos since the beginning of February, and would join the team when the CPBL season opens up on March 17.
Manny put on an encouraging performance this past winter in his native Dominican Republic — he homered on the first pitch he saw and went on to hit .298 in 181 at-bats for Aguilas Cibaenas — but has not played a game in the majors since April 2011. He spent last season under contract with Oakland, but never saw the field with the A’s after serving a 50-game suspension for his second violation of the league’s drug policy.
Rojas estimates the outfielder will earn around $12,000 per month with the Rhinos, who finished in last place in the CPBL last season.