MIAMI – Former big league slugger Manny Ramirez said Thursday he was willing to serve his 100-game suspension for violating Major League Baseball's drug policy.
Ramirez, who retired from baseball earlier this year after a second positive test for performance-enhancing drugs, said he would request a formal reinstatement and serve his suspension upon approval by the league, ESPNdeportes.com reported.
The 12-time MLB All-Star revealed his latest intentions after learning he was ineligible to play in the Dominican Republic Winter League.
Ramirez had declared his intention to make a return to the sport in his native country, saying he hoped his appearance would draw other baseball stars to the Caribbean country's league.
But the office for MLB commissioner Bud Selig considered Ramirez to be ineligible because the Dominican Winter League is affiliated with MLB, where his ban still stands.
The league's firm stance on the issue apparently forced Ramirez to undergo a change of heart.
"I would comply with my pending sanction and I would be available for any major league team," he told ESPNdeportes.com. "I already informed [agent] Scott Boras of my decision to return and begin the process.
"If any team wants to sign me, I would play. If no one does, I would look to play in Japan or any other place. I was not prepared for retirement."
Ramirez's use of banned substances, which came to light late in his career, called into question his Hall of Fame-caliber statistics.
Ramirez, 39, was charged with domestic battery in Florida earlier this month after allegedly hitting his wife. A judge ordered the former slugger to stay away from his wife pending a hearing.