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White Sox announce deal with Cuban OF Oscar Colás

By JAY COHEN

AP Baseball Writer

CHICAGO (AP) The Chicago White Sox added another name to their rich Cuban history when they announced Tuesday they had agreed to a contract with outfielder Oscar Colas.

Considered one of the top international free agents, Colas received a $2.7 million signing bonus. The team also announced it had agreed to terms with outfielder Erick Hernandez that included a $1 million bonus.

Colas, 23, is from Santiago de Cuba. He bats and throws left-handed and hit .282 with 28 homers and 116 RBIs in 187 games over his foreign league career.

Colas also has worked as a pitcher, but Marco Paddy, an executive for international operations for the White Sox, said he will concentrate on developing him as an outfielder.

"He wants to be a position player and he feels that he's got a better chance to be successful as a position player," Paddy said, "and we feel like his development as a pitcher would take much longer than a position player.

"So, for that kind of player with that type of power, that type of ability on the field, obviously we're looking for a guy that has the opportunity to get to the major leagues a lot quicker."

The White Sox have experienced a long run of success with Cuba natives that includes Minnie Minoso, who was elected to the Baseball Hall of Fame in December, and extends all the way to their current team with first baseman Jose Abreu, center fielder Luis Robert, catcher Yasmani Grandal, and third baseman Yoan Moncada. The team also has Yoelqui Cespedes, Norge Vera, and Yolbert Sanchez in the minors.

Colas said he talked to Robert, Cespedes and Sanchez before finalizing his decision.

"What they told me is this is a very good organization, that they're very excited having me," Colas said through a translator, "and that they just want me to join them and play hard as they are doing here."

The 17-year-old Hernandez is from Moca, Dominican Republic. He bats and throws left-handed.

The team said it expects to make more international signings in the coming weeks.

"We feel very good with what we were able to accomplish this year," Paddy said. "Having the ability to sign two high-level prospects with impact-type tools like Colas and Hernandez, I would categorize that as a solid year."

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Updated January 25, 2022

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