SAN DIEGO (AP) Free agent shortstop Alexei Ramirez has agreed to terms of a one-year contract with the San Diego Padres, pending passing a physical.
The 34-year-old Ramirez had spent his entire eight-year career with the Chicago White Sox.
Upgrading at shortstop was one of San Diego's top offseason needs. Alexi Amarista made 78 starts there last season while Clint Barmes made 51.
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Ramirez was an All-Star in 2014. His average dropped to a career-low .249 last year.
Also Thursday, the Padres signed right-hander Carlos Villanueva to a one-year contract, selected the contract of left-hander Ryan Buchter to the 40-man roster and granted right-hander Marcos Mateo his release from the 40-man roster for the purpose of playing in the Japanese Central League.