Sox sign, introduce Cuban slugger Abreu

Cuba's Jose Abreu reacts with teammates after hitting a grand slam off China's Liu Yu at the World...

Cuba's Jose Abreu reacts with teammates after hitting a grand slam off China's Liu Yu at the World Baseball Classic qualifying first round game March 4, 2013. (REUTERS/Toru Hanai)

The Sports Xchange

, Last Updated: 6:18 PM ET

The Chicago White Sox introduced Cuban slugger Jose Abreu at a Tuesday press conference after he officially signed a six-year, $68-million contract.

"I have to give a lot of thanks to the Cuban players who are playing for the White Sox who created this atmosphere where I feel comfortable coming here," Abreu said through translator and White Sox director of public relations Lou Hernandez, with White Sox and Cuban legend Minnie Minoso sitting a few feet in front of them.

"Having spoken with them about the White Sox, about the organization, it makes things easier and made the decision easier. I'm thankful to them for giving me that perspective."

The contract is the largest in White Sox history. Abreu will make $7 million in both 2014 and 2015, $10 million in 2016, $10.5 million in 2017, $11.5 million in 2018 and $12 million in 2019. He also received a $10 million signing bonus.

The contract is the largest ever given to an international player, beating out Yasiel Puig's $42 million deal with the Dodgers.

"We are very excited to add a talent like Jose to our roster for the next several years," general manager Rick Hahn said. "His skill set should translate very well to our ballpark, and we expect him to be a part of successful White Sox teams throughout his time in Chicago."

Abreu hit .382/.535/.735 with 13 home runs in 42 games during the Cuban Series Nacional league 2012-13 season. Abreu batted .453 with 33 home runs and 93 RBIs in 63 games in the 2010-11 season, while missing time with a shoulder injury. The previous season, he batted .399 with 30 home runs and 76 RBIs.

Abreu, 26, defected this summer. He is expected to take over as the White Sox first baseman

Abreu, who is 6-foot-3, 250 pounds, batted .360 with three home runs and nine RBIs in 25 at-bats in the World Baseball Classic in March.


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