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Rays sign Cuban defector Anderson for $3.75 million

Mar 11, 2010, 4:03 PM EDT

The Rays confirmed a report Thursday that they’ve agreed to terms with Cuban first baseman-outfielder Leslie Anderson.
Jorge Ebro of El Nuevo Herald reported earlier in the day that it was a major league deal worth a guaranteed $3.75 million over four years.
Anderson, 27, is a left-handed hitter with experience throughout the outfield and at first base. It’s believed major league teams were looking at him primarily as a first baseman.
The Cubano’s Blog has him as a career .326 hitter with 92 homers and a 376/417 K/BB ratio in 3,127 at-bats in Cuba.
The Rays are probably looking more towards 2011 than 2010 with the signing. Perhaps Anderson could come up and contribute this year if Hank Blalock proves to be a bust, but the Rays are facing possible holes at first base and in left field next year with Carlos Pena and Carl Crawford both becoming eligible for free agency. If Anderson impresses, he could take over at one of those spots.

  1. Curious George - Mar 11, 2010 at 4:52 PM

    I think the big question here is, how does a guy from Cuba get the decidedly non-Cuban-sounding name Leslie Anderson?

  2. mario - Mar 11, 2010 at 7:05 PM

    The Leslie god knows, the Anderson believed or not is probably from jamaican ancestors, like Teofilo Stevenson , famous boxer
    Alexei Bell, top slugger in Cuba as we speak
    not only his name is Leslie anderson but his last last name is Sthepes, definetely jamaican ancestors, dont forget Oriente and Camaguey, from whwre he is is right there by jamaica, i mean you can almost go swimming there

  3. jwb - Mar 11, 2010 at 8:17 PM

    British military officers were very much in demand in Spain. If they were Catholic, emigration to Spain and the Spanish colonies was fairly easy. Mike Lowell’s father’s family fled Cuba for Puerto Rico at the time of the Castro revolution. Bernardo O’Higgins was one of the founding fathers of Chile.

  4. Rays fan - Mar 11, 2010 at 11:15 PM

    Here’s hoping he’s a great outfielder because the Rays probably can’t afford to sign Crawford after this season.

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