Friday, December 21, 2007
Source: Versatile Cuban exile Ramírez agrees to contract with White Sox
By Enrique Rojas
ORLANDO -- The Chicago White Sox and Cuban exile Alexei Ramírez have agreed to a four-year contract, pending a physical exam, according to a source who spoke to ESPNdeportes.com on condition of anonymity.
"Alexei got a good deal and he'll be looking for a starting roster spot during spring training with the White Sox," said the source. "He can play multiple positions, so his chances are good."
The financial terms of the contract were not disclosed.
Ramírez can play the outfield and some infield positions. He had collective workout sessions for scouts who work in the Dominican Republic. He also had individual sessions for the Boston Red Sox, Cleveland Indians, Cincinnati Reds, Chicago Cubs, New York Mets, New York Yankees, Minnesota Twins, Oakland Athletics and the White Sox, the source said.
Ramírez was the home run leader in the Cuban baseball league last season, but he defected from the island and established residence in the Dominican Republic in November to try and make the jump to Major League Baseball.
Ramírez hit .332 with 87 home runs and 391 RBIs in seven seasons in Cuba with Pinar del Río. In 2006, he hit .335 with 68 RBIs and led the league with 20 homers.
Ramírez arrived in Santo Domingo with a visa to visit his wife Ingrid, who is Dominican. The couple has two small children, Alexei, Jr., and Alexia.
Enrique Rojas is a reporter and columnist for ESPNdeportes.com and ESPN.com.