Has Sox' Cuban pipeline dried up?

Has Sox' Cuban pipeline dried up?

Posted by scotgreg on Sat, 01/31/2009 - 20:39
A fan asked an astute question at SoxFest Saturday, and GM Kenny Williams gave an interesting answer. The question was basically _ why not sign Cuban defector Yasser Gomez, a skilled center fielder/leadoff hitter? Gomez, along with touted relief pitcher Yadel Marti, are said to be major-league ready and looking for contracts, and Jaime Torres represents both players. Torres is also the agent of three White Sox players from Cuba: Jose Contreras, Alexei Ramirez and Dayan Viciedo. Contreras and Ramirez are very comfortable playing for Ozzie, who speaks Spanish. That’s a big reason Ramirez turned down more money from the Oakland A’s last year to sign with the Sox, according to a source. Gomez is a very interesting player, and Marti appears good enough to help anybody’s bullpen. But Williams almost apologized for hogging all of the Cuban talent that’s been arriving when he answered the question. “I don’t think he (Gomez) is a get,” Williams said. “It might be counterproductive for (Torres) to deal with just one team.” In other words, if Torres’ stable of talent continues landing on the South Side, the White Sox might be able to get away with contracts well below market value. Ramirez can already be considered a steal, considering he has a four-year, $4.75 million contract. Last year, one member of the Sox suggested chairman Jerry Reinsdorf rip up the deal and pay Ramirez what he’s worth. A noble thought, but baseball is a rough business. Viciedo agreed to a four-year, $6 million contract with the White Sox, but at least Torres got him a $4 million signing bonus. Maybe Viciedo should share some of that with Ramirez.
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