UPDATE, 12-22-07 at 6:00pm: Ramirez can earn another $3.25MM in incentives.
UPDATE, 12-21-07 at 10:57pm: Ramirez gets a mere $4.75MM over the four-year pact. That's an excellent move right there, in my opinion. Dirt cheap - low risk, decent reward.
FROM 12-21-07 at 5:35pm:
The White Sox made an interesting move today, signing Cuban defector Alexei Ramirez to a four-year contract. The presence of Jose Contreras should be helpful for him. Ramirez probably profiles as Chicago's center fielder, though he could also play second base. Here's what Baseball America had to say about him a few months ago.
It's tough to judge this signing until we hear the money involved. He was apparently highly sought after, as ESPN says he worked out for the Red Sox, Indians, Reds, Cubs, Mets, Yankees, Twins, and A's too. Ramirez is apparently 26 years old. I think he's going to need some time in the minors, as Clay Davenport has equated Cuban baseball with our short season A ball.
As a means of comparison, Yuniesky Betancourt signed for four years and $2.826MM in January of 2005. Kendry Morales signed a four-year deal worth around $10MM in December of 2004.
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