Big League Stew

Manny Ramirez agrees to play in Taiwan

David Brown
Big League Stew

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"Hello? Is this Taipei City?" (Getty)

Those kooky animators in Taiwan have another wacky video to produce, and it's of Manny Ramirez coming to an agreement with the EDA Rhinos of the China Professional League.

Didn't Manny get busted for taking EDA Rhino?

Anyway, Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes first reported that Ramirez, who hasn't found work in Major League Baseball since being released by the Oakland Athletics last year, is heading overseas. That is, unless, he can hook on with a major league team by March 7.

How do you say "Manny being Manny" in Taiwanese Mandarin?

In case you're wondering how much money Ramirez stands to make playing ball in Taiwan — it's not much, by major league standards and Rojas has a rough estimate:

The player did not provide financial details of its agreement with EDA, but information gathered by ESPNdeportes.com show that usually a good foreign player earns about $12,000 a month in Taiwan.

[...]

"My agents called almost every team in the AL with the apparent needs [of] a veteran to use as a designated hitter [who has] occasional pop and nobody was interested," said Ramirez.

Ramirez, 41, has 555 home runs and a .996 career OPS. He would be a no-doubt Hall of Famer were it not for his two PED suspensions. He also carries a lot of baggage and probably doesn't offer much of a reward anymore. Ramirez hasn't played in the majors since he went 1 for 17 with the Tampa Bay Rays in 2011 before getting hit with a second second suspension. He played in Triple-A for the A's in 2012 and batted .302, but he hit no home runs in 69 plate appearances.

Even if he earned double the going rate of a quality foreign player in Taiwan, he's not playing ball there for the money — which he probably doesn't need, having made roughly $200 million playing in the Western Hemisphere. Hopefully he doesn't need $12,000 a month.

And why Taiwan and not Japan? Can you see ManRam trying to fit in with a Japanese team? Even if the movie "Mr. Baseball" isn't the least bit accurate about life in Japanese ball, just imagine it anyway and you have your answer.

Ramirez, who turns 41 in May, obviously thinks he can still contribute. He hit OK in Dominican winter ball (which he hadn't played in 18 years), if that's any indication.

And yet, Manny says he's happy playing ball overseas during the summer and at home in the Dominican during the winter. It's believable. For all of his silly nonsense, Ramirez also had a reputation for loving the game and being a student of it. I miss him for his bat and his nonsense. I think we've seen the last of him here.

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