Thursday, November 20, 2008
Updated: November 21, 2:03 PM ET
White Sox sign Viciedo to major league deal
By Enrique Rojas
ORLANDO -- The Chicago White Sox have agreed on a major league contract with Dayan Viciedo, regarded as Cuba's best teen talent, his agent Jaime Torres said.
The four-year deal -- worth $11 million, a club source told ESPNdeportes.com -- is expected to become official as soon as Viciedo clears a physical examination.
"He has agreed to a deal and is flying to Chicago," Torres said Friday, according to The Associated Press.
Viciedo left Cuba with relatives on May 11 on a boat en route to Mexico. By early June, he and his family arrived in South Florida.
In Miami, Viciedo, 19, chose not to apply for political asylum. He instead flew to Dominican Republic and avoided a special MLB draft for Cuban defectors. Once on Dominican soil, Viciedo applied for residency and was declared a free agent by Major League Baseball.
Viciedo gained notice in 2006 when he became the youngest baseball player to ever play at the All-Star Game of Cuba's Serie Nacional, the island's top-level league.
As a 15-year-old, he was picked MVP of the world junior championships and he made the All-Star squad while playing for Villa Clara in Serie Nacional (2005-06).
Viciedo plays third base and shortstop. He is also an outfielder and had an occasional pitching role with Cuba's junior national team.
He slugged over .500 in two of the past three seasons in Serie Nacional. At 16, in his best season, Viciedo hit 14 homers.
"Viciedo is one of the best baseball players under the 20-year-old mark," Torres said in an interview with ESPNdeportes.com.
"He could very well surprise us like Alexei Ramírez did while becoming one the top rookies of the American League last season."
Enrique Rojas is a reporter and columnist for ESPNdeportes.com and ESPN.com. Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.