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Rays release Jose Julio Ruiz five months after signing him

Nov 19, 2010, 5:17 PM EDT

In early June the Rays signed Cuban first baseman Jose Julio Ruiz to a minor-league contract that included a unique stipulation where they had to decide by mid-November whether to give him a four-year, $4 million deal or let him go.

At the time of the initial signing Ruiz was viewed as a solid prospect and potential replacement for free agent Carlos Pena at first base, but today the Rays declined their option and released the 26-year-old.

Ruiz is 6-foot-3 and 230 pounds, hit just .272 with one homer and a .706 OPS in 23 games at Double-A despite being old for the level of competition

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