(CHICAGO) — Wasting no time this offseason, the Chicago White Sox have made the first splash in free agency by signing Cuban infielder Jose Abreu to a six-year deal worth $68 million.
The 26-year-old Abreu has yet to play a single inning of American baseball, but has already earned the largest contract in White Sox history in terms of total money.
This past season in the Cuban professional league, Abreu batted .316 with 19 home runs and 60 RBIs over 83 games. Over the past four seasons including the postseason, Abreu batted .392, hit 133 home runs, 337 RBIs, scored 311 runs, and walked 278 times.
“For players who haven’t played in the states, it’s a calculated risk, but one we had to take,” White Sox general manager Rick Hahn said. “If we are going to get this thing right, and get it done as quickly as we want it done, we are going to have to be bold and be aggressive.”
In 2013, the White Sox finished last in the AL Central at 63-99. The team is hoping that Abreu’s bat will translate to Major League Baseball as the team ranked ranked 29th in runs scored this past season.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
Jill Martin, CNN
Eliott C. McLaughlin, CNN Newswire