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White Sox sign Alexei Ramirez to 4-year deal

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Holy crap!

I don't even know what to say. We were excited about the prospects of signing Ramirez (video at link) when we first heard about his availability, but cautioned that if he wasn't a major league player today, as a 26 year old, he would never be one.

The same holds true today, except now Ramirez has asked/flunked out of the Dominican Winter League after collecting just 1 hit in 14 at bats. In other words, he seems even less likely to be a major league talent now than he did a few months ago.

4 years seems like an awful lot to guarantee to a guy about whom we know (almost) nothing. But we can't really be sure until we see him play. Here's hoping he's able to be a utility player at the very least.

Update [2007-12-21 20:43:27 by thewizardsofoz]:

[Scott Merkin]:

Two baseball sources have confirmed to MLB.com that the White Sox have agreed in principle on a four-year, $4.75 million deal with Alexei Ramirez. The versatile Cuban exile still has to pass a physical, and an official announcement from the team probably won't come until after the New Year.

Ramirez, whose age is listed at 26, was a natural shortstop in Cuba but also can play second base and center field. His arrival does not necessarily mean that the White Sox are done pursuing a veteran outfielder, as Ramirez may need some time in the Minors to prepare himself for the big leagues.