'I may have to go to Japan': Palmeiro hasn't received MLB comeback offer

by 5d ago
SEATTLE - JULY 15: Rafael Palmeiro #25 of the Baltimore Orioles stands at second base after doubling against the Seattle Mariners for hit number 3000 of his career on July 15, 2005 at Safeco Field in Seattle, Washington.
Otto Greule Jr / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Though Rafael Palmeiro insisted last week that "the comeback is real," finding work is proving difficult for the 53-year-old.

More than a decade removed from his last big-league at-bat, Palmeiro - the four-time All-Star whose career seemingly ended in disgrace in 2005 when he was suspended for performance-enhancing drug use after steadfastly denying using steroids before Congress - is struggling to be taken seriously, admitting Friday that he has yet to receive a contract offer from an MLB team.

"No, not yet," Palmeiro conceded during an appearance on MLB Network.

When he announced his comeback plans last month, Palmeiro seemed disinclined to take an indirect route back to the big leagues, unwilling to first re-establish himself in a foreign league or even in the minors. Having failed to pique the interest of any MLB teams, however, Palmeiro appears to have warmed to the idea of playing overseas.

"I may have to go to Japan," he said, hours after tweeting a video of himself putting in work in the batting cage (in which he noted that his "swing feels great").

Palmeiro, who fell off the Hall of Fame ballot in 2014 after receiving just 4.4 percent of the vote, would regain his Cooperstown eligibility were he to appear in another MLB game.

"There's no doubt in my mind I can do it," Palmeiro told Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic in December. "I've taken care of myself really well. I've been working out for years. Everything feels better than when I played."

In his 20 big-league seasons, from 1986-2005, Palmeiro received down-ballot MVP votes 10 times, earning two Silver Slugger awards and a pair of Gold Gloves across his stints with the Chicago Cubs, Texas Rangers, and Baltimore Orioles while becoming one of just five players in MLB history with at least 3,000 hits and 500 home runs.