According to Jorge Ebro of the El Nuevo Herald, the White Sox have signed Alexei Ramirez to a four-year, $32 million extension with a $10 million club option for a fifth year.
Ramirez, who defected from Cuba via the Dominican Republic, originally signed a four-year, $4.4 million contract with the White Sox in December of 2007, so he has provided tremendous value until this point.
He opted out of his contract this past December, but the White Sox reserved the right to exercise a $2.75 million option for 2011. They swiftly did so, though the two sides were expected to discuss a contract extension all along. It’s not yet known if this new contract will replace his salary for the upcoming season.
The 29-year-old Ramirez has a .283/.321/.430 batting line over his first three seasons in the big leagues. Though his lack of patience remains a glaring weakness in his game, he has averaged 18 home runs and 72 RBI per season. He won his first Silver Slugger Award last season and has evolved into one of the better fielding shortstops in the game, according to UZR (Ultimate Zone Rating) on FanGraphs.
The ALCS had a weird play in Game 4 on Tuesday night, but Game 4 of the NLCS did as well. This one involved Cubs outfielder Albert Almora, Jr. and his attempt to spark a rally in the bottom of the ninth inning against Dodgers reliever Ross Stripling.
After Alex Avila singled, Almora ripped a double to left field, past a diving Enrique Hernandez. The ball rolled to the ivy in front of the wall. Most outfielders there would’ve put their hands up, which would have alerted the umpires to call an immediate ground-rule double. Hernandez didn’t, instead fishing the ball out and firing it back into the infield. Avila had stopped at third base, but Almora kept running. Much to his surprise, he pulled up into third base to see his teammate standing there, resigned to his fate as a dead duck. Third baseman Justin Turner applied the tag on Almora for what he thought was the first out of the inning.
Almora, however, was then sent back to second base after the umpires correctly called a ground-rule double.
Unfortunately for the Cubs, the lucky break didn’t help as closer Kenley Jansen came in and took care of business, retiring all three batters he faced without letting an inherited runner score. The Dodgers won 6-1 and now lead the NLCS three games to none. They’ll try to punch their ticket to the World Series on Wednesday.