Baseball: Auckland Tuatara miss out on signing MLB great Manny Ramirez

The Auckland Tuatara have come up short in their bid to sign former Major League Baseball superstar Manny Ramirez.

On Saturday, the Australian Baseball League announced that the 12-time All Star has signed a one-year deal with the Sydney Blue Sox.

Ultimately, the 48-year-old Ramirez's desire to play in a larger market seems to have swung his decision.

"As a life-long Boston Red Sox fan, this is a dream come true," says Sydney owner Adam Dobb.

"Manny has been interested in the Australian Baseball League for quite a while now.

"It was his preference to play down here in a big city and we're thrilled to have a player of his calibre in Sydney."

As part of the revamped season model for 202/21, the Blue Sox will be based in the Australian conference, meaning that the Tuatara - in the Auckland-based International Conference - likely won't have a chance to play against him unless they make the championship series.

Ramirez was named MVP in Boston's 2004 World Series title and led the American League for homers during the regular-season.

He ranks 15th all-time with 555 home runs in an MLB career that included stints with Cleveland, the Red Sox, Los Angeles Dodgers, Chicago White Sox and Tampa Bay.

Ramirez last played MLB in 2011 with the Rays and, more recently, played in the Chinese Professional Baseball League.

He claimed the Silver Slugger Award on nine occasions and is a member of Boston's Hall of Fame.

"Manny has told us he's not prepared to give the game away yet," Dobb adds.

"He keeps himself in shape and takes batting practice daily.

"He is going to be massive for the Blue Sox and the ABL and we can't wait to see Manny being Manny down under."