MINNEAPOLIS -- The Twins and outfielder Rondell White reached a preliminary agreement Tuesday on a $2.75 million, one-year contract.
White must pass a physical for the deal to be finalized, a person familiar with the negotiations said, speaking on condition of anonymity because no announcement had been made. With a second-year option and performance bonuses, White could make $8.5 million if he has 650 plate appearances or more in each of the next two seasons.
White signed with the Twins last season to be their designated hitter but struggled through most of the year, though he was bothered first by a shoulder problem and then a hamstring injury. Halfway through the season, he was batting only .182 with 15 RBIs and no homers in 181 at-bats when placed on the disabled list and sent to the minors for a rehabilitation assignment.
But White batted .351 with three homers and 10 RBIs in September, taking over in left field for Jason Kubel when the rookie was limited by knee problems. White finished with a .246 average, seven homers and 38 RBIs in 99 games and 337 at-bats. The move likely leaves Kubel as the leading candidate to be the DH, with veteran Jeff Cirillo also sure to see plenty of time there.
White began his Major League career in 1993 with Montreal, and had stints with the Cubs, Yankees, San Diego, Kansas City and Detroit.
Under the deal negotiated by agents Sam and Seth Levinson, White gets a $2.5 million salary in 2007. The contract contains $3.5 million option for 2008 that would become guaranteed if he has 525 plate appearances next year. The price of the option would increase to $3.75 million with 550 plate appearances, $4 million with 600 and $4.5 million with 650. If the option doesn't become guaranteed, White would receive a $250,000 buyout.
White could earn $750,000 annually in performance bonuses: $125,000 each for 400 plate appearances and each additional 50 through 650.