Aramis Ramirez, a three-time All-Star during an 18-year career in the majors, confirmed his decision to retire from baseball during a radio interview in his native Dominican Republic on Thursday.
"What I said in the spring training is official. I already played my last season in the majors and left the game," the third baseman said to the radio program "Grandes en Los Deportes" on 102.5 FM in Santo Domingo.
"After 18 years in the majors and more than half of my life playing baseball, I want to be with my family and do some of the things I like," Ramirez said.
Ramirez, 37, hit .283 with 386 homers and 1,417 RBIs in 18 seasons with the Pittsburgh Pirates, Chicago Cubs and Milwaukee Brewers, all in the National League Central. He went to three All-Star games and won the Silver Slugger award at third base once.
Ramirez was signed by the Pirates in Santo Domingo in 1994, when he was 16 years old, and debuted in the majors four years later. Last summer he was traded by Milwaukee to Pittsburgh, where he had the opportunity to play in the postseason.
"It was a great experience, going from the cellar to the penthouse, and finish my career where it all started," Ramirez, who hit .246 with 17 homers and 75 RBIs in 2015, said.
He said that he plans to remain linked to baseball, but that he would prefer to work in the front office and not on the field. He didn't clarify when he would be available to start a new career in the sport.
Ramirez said he will try to get in shape to play with the Tigres del Licey in the Dominican Republic Winter League as a way to say goodbye to the fans in his country.
"In a month I will train to see how my body responds. I want to play with Licey and if possible, go win a championship," he said. "But it all depends on how my body reacts, if I'm not feeling well, so I won't risk it to avoid embarrassment on the field."
Ramirez last played with Licey in the 2001-02 season.