New England Native Joins Red Sox

The Red Sox have signed outfielder and Rhode Island native Rocco Baldelli, 27, to a one-year contract.

The old right-handed hitting Baldelli became a free agent after playing in just 28 regular-season games for the Tampa Bay Rays last season. He spent most of the season on the disabled list with a mitochondrial disorder that is said to be responding well to treatment.

Baldelli has a career batting average of .281 with 52 homers and 234 RBIs in his five major league seasons, all with Tampa Bay.

He finished third in the voting for American League Rookie of the Year in 2003.

Baldelli was the sixth overall selection in the 2000 major league draft after leading Rhode Island's Bishop Hendrickson High School to four state titles.

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