Cuban slugger Alexei Ramirez signs with Chicago White Sox
SANTO DOMINGO, Dominican Republic -- Cuban slugger Alexei Ramirez has agreed to a deal with the Chicago White Sox, giving the club some added punch after it failed to sign two other top offseason targets.
"We have arrived at an agreement with the White Sox for a major league contract for Alexei's services," agent Jaime Torres told The Associated Press on Friday.
Torres would not disclose the terms of the deal, and White Sox spokesman Scott Reifert said the club doesn't announce any signings until the player has passed his physical.
Ramirez, who left Cuba in early September to join his wife and kids in the Dominican Republic, batted .335 with 20 homers and 68 RBIs last season. He helped lead Cuba to a second-place finish in the inaugural World Baseball Classic in 2006 and a gold medal at the Athens Olympics in 2004.
Primarily a second baseman and outfielder in Cuba, Ramirez told the AP shortly after leaving Cuba that he hoped to play shortstop and follow in the footsteps of Ozzie Smith, Rey Ordonez and Omar Vizquel.
The White Sox tried to sign free agent Torii Hunter, who ended up with the Angels. And they also were interested in Japanese star Kosuke Fukudome, who signed with the Cubs.
In Chicago, Ramirez will be united with another Cuban -- pitcher Jose Contreras, who Torres also represents.
AP Sports Writer Andrew Seligman in Chicago contributed to this report.
Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press
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