A star in the field and a gentleman in life, the White Sox were convinced they could not part with Alexei Ramirez and so tied to their destination for four years and $ 32.5 million. This new agreement makes the Cuban player with the biggest contract of all those who came to the majors after playing several seasons in the National Series. Ramirez’s new contract includes a club option for a fifth season for $ 10 million, to become valid, ensure as Cuban-experienced player in baseball on the island, with the highest paid contract in history.
If Alexei’s new contract replaces this year’s $2.75 option, then it covers this year, the two arbitration years (2012 & 2013), and one year of Free Agency (2014). If the new contract starts next year, then it covers the two arbitration years (2012 & 2013), and two years of Free Agency (2014 & 2015).
UPDATE: Dave van Dyck says the new contract starts with this year. So, if D.V. Dyck is correct, the contract covers this year, two arbitration years (2012 & 2013), and one year of Free Agency (2014).
UPDATE #2: Brent Ballantini tweets that the $10 million option is for 2016. That would mean the new contract starts next year. If Ballantini is correct, the contract covers two arbitration years (2012 & 2013), and two years of Free Agency (2014 & 2015). Ballantini, also, reminds us that Alexei’s value over his first 3 years with the Sox was $29.6 million; $15.2 million in 2010 alone (Fangraphs).
UPDATE #3: Gregor @ DH says the contract starts next year:
NEW: A source Monday night told me the extension doesn’t kick in until 2012, which is good news for the Sox. And while details on the new deal are still being ironed out, Ramirez is going to make $2.75 million this season.