January 8, 2009 / 7:38 PM / 10 years ago

Red Sox sign free agent outfielder Baldelli

Tampa Bay Rays Rocco Baldelli hits a solo home run against the Philadelphia Phillies during the seventh inning in Game 5 of Major League Baseball's World Series in Philadelphia, October 29, 2008 REUTERS/Tim Shaffer

BOSTON (Reuters) - The Boston Red Sox have signed 27-year-old outfielder Rocco Baldelli to a one-year contract, the American League team announced on Thursday.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed.

Free agent Baldelli, a native of nearby Rhode Island, had played his entire major league career with the American League champion Tampa Bay Rays but his promising career was set back due to injuries and illness.

Last season, Baldelli played just 28 regular season games after being diagnosed with mitochondrial disorder, which caused constant fatigue.

However, Baldelli received a new diagnosis after further medical tests that he has channelopathy, a treatable condition, according to Major League Baseball website mlb.com.

Baldelli finished third in the American League Rookie of the Year voting in 2003, when he hit .289 with 11 homers, 78 RBIs and 27 stolen bases.

Despite missing nearly all of the 2008 season, Baldelli was included in the Rays’ postseason roster and slugged a three-run homer in the American League Championship Series victory over the Red Sox that put Tampa Bay into the World Series.

Writing by Larry Fine in New York, Editing by Justin Palmer

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