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 Dodgers have reinstated first baseman Adrian Gonzalez from the 60-day disabled list after his recovery from a herniated disc. To make room for him they have optioned Rob Segedin to Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Gonzalez last played on June 11. Since then the Dodgers have gone an astounding 46-9, with shoe-in rookie of the year candidate Cody Bellinger handling first base duties and posting a .978 OPS. When Gonzalez went down he was hitting .255/.304/.339 and only one homer in 49 games.
It’ll be interesting to see what kind of playing time he gets going forward. The Dodgers, of course, have a comfortable lead in the NL West, so they could afford to allow Gonzalez to play a good bit to see if his bat sharpens up while simultaneously giving Bellinger, who has never played more than 137 games in a season, a bit of a breather. Beyond that, though, the Dodgers ain’t broke, so it’s hard to see why anyone would want to tinker with things.
The Tampa Bay Rays have activated outfielder Kevin Kiermaier from the 60-day disabled list.
Kiermaier, who fractured his hip in early June, is batting leadoff and playing center field in tonight’s game against the Mariners. He was just 3-for-24 on his rehab assignment, but those aren’t usually predictive of anything. He was hitting .258/.329/.408 when he went down. Getting his bat — and, more importantly, his glove — back in the lineup will boost the struggling Rays in their quest for a playoff spot.