Manny Ramirez wants a job. The Yankees need a righthanded bat. But the 41-year-old former Red Sox star isn't going to end up in the Bronx.
Ramirez, a 12-time All-Star who last appeared in the majors in five games with Tampa Bay in 2011, has been playing in Taiwan. He recently ended his stint there after hitting .352 with eight homers and 43 RBIs in 49 games with the EDA Rhinos.
"I don't have other offers, but I'm not retiring," Ramirez told ESPN Deportes. "I love this game too much to give it up when I can still play."
Yankees general manager Brian Cashman, asked Friday night if he has any interest in Ramirez, said: "I wouldn't say. I don't think it's in my best interests to say who I may or may not have interest in."
Said Joe Girardi: "That's a front-office question. Obviously, I haven't spent a lot of time watching what [Ramirez] has been doing."
A person familiar with the Yankees' thinking said they are not looking at signing Ramirez.
The Yankees started rookie Zoilo Almonte in leftfield against the Rays last night. Almonte went 3-for-4 with a homer. In their last two games against lefthanded starters, slumping Vernon Wells and lefthanded hitter Travis Hafner have served as the DH. They also have rookie Thomas Neal on the roster. So it's not a matter of not having room. It could be more about not wanting to bring in an aging player with a suitcase full of baggage.
Ramirez, who has been suspended twice by MLB for performance-enhancing drug violations, served a 50-game ban in 2012 while in the Oakland Athletics' organization, so he is eligible to play in the majors now. The Washington Heights product could end up in Japan if no U.S. team signs him.