New York - Manny Ramirez has told Major League Baseball that he is retiring.
MLB issued a release Friday, saying it recently notified Ramirez "of an issue under Major League Baseball's Joint Drug Prevention and Treatment Program."
"Rather than continue with the process under the program, Ramirez has informed MLB that he is retiring as an active player," the release said. "If Ramirez seeks reinstatement in the future, the process under the Drug Program will be completed. MLB will not have any further comment on this matter."
While playing for the Dodgers in 2009, Ramirez was suspended 50 games for testing positive under the league's drug policy.
Details of the positive test were not revealed, but Ramirez said it was not steroids-related and stemmed from a prescription that included a substance on baseball's banned list.
The banned substance was reportedly human chorionic gonadotropin (HCG), a female fertility drug that can also be used as a antidote to diminish testosterone levels at the end of a cycle of steroid treatments.
Under MLB's drug policy, a second-time offense draws a 100-game suspension and a third positive test incurs a lifetime ban.
The Tampa Bay Rays signed Ramirez to a one-year, $2 million deal this past offseason. He played just five games for the Rays, going 1-for-17 at the plate.
The Rays also issued a release, saying they were informed of Ramirez's decision to retire by the commissioner's office
"We are obviously surprised and disappointed by this news," the release said. "We will have no further comment on this matter, and our fans and organization will carry on."
Originally drafted 13th overall by the Indians in the 1991 draft, Ramirez made his MLB debut with Cleveland in September 1993. The Dominican slugger played 22 games in '93, batting .170 with two homers.
In 1994, Ramirez finished second in the Rookie of the Year voting after batting .269 with 17 homers and 60 RBI in 91 games. That was followed up by a '95 season that resulted in his first All-Star Game and first career Silver Slugger Award.
During his time in Cleveland (1993-2000), Ramirez played in two World Series -- 1995 and 1997.
In December 2000, Ramirez signed an eight-year, $160 million deal with the Boston Red Sox. The contract also included $20 million options for 2009 and 2010.
Ramirez immediately delivered for the Red Sox, hitting .306 with 41 home runs and 125 RBI in his first season with Boston.
In 2004, the 38-year-old guided Boston to the World Series. Ramirez led the American League in home runs (43), slugging percentage (.613) and OPS (1.009) that season.
The Red Sox defeated the Angels in the AL Division Series before coming back to beat the New York Yankees in a memorable ALCS. After losing the first three games to the Yankees, Boston rallied to win the final four games and earn a trip to the World Series. The Red Sox then took all four games from the Cardinals to claim their first title since 1918.
The 2004 World Series MVP, Ramirez led Boston to another title in 2007, where they swept the Rockies.
A trade-deadline deal in 2008 sent Ramirez to the Dodgers. Ramirez led the Dodgers to the playoffs that year, hitting an astounding .396 with 17 homers and 53 RBI in just 53 games.
Ramirez's 50-game suspension in '09 was the start of his downfall. After hitting just 19 homers that season, Ramirez spent time on the disabled list three times in 2010.
When he returned from the third trip in late August, Ramirez apparently had lost his starting job to Scott Podsednik. He was ejected on August 29 for arguing a strike call. That appearance was his final one in a Dodger uniform.
The White Sox were awarded Ramirez on August 30, and he hit .261 with just one home run in 24 contests. He became a free agent at the end of the year, leading to the Rays signing him.
The 12-time All-Star selection and nine-time Silver Slugger Award winner played in 2,302 career games, batting .312 with 555 homers and 1,831 RBI.