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Sign, celebrate … sleep

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Ramon Vazquez celebrated his new contract with the Pirates by taking a long, winter’s nap.

The free agent shortstop was in Pittsburgh this morning for his physical. Vazquez was supposed to fly back to Puerto Rico this afternoon after inking his two-year, $4 million contract. But when a snow squall delayed his flight, he opted to spent and extra night in town instead of risking missing his connecting flight.

Did Vazquez open a bottle of bubbly, perhaps? Or rent a limo and go out for a fancy dinner?

“I went back to my hotel room and fell asleep,” Vazquez said, with a chuckle.

Vazquez said the Pirates contacted him more than month ago, shortly after he declared free agency. He put up career-best stats (.290, six homers, 40 RBI) last season while playing for the Texas Rangers.

Pirates GM knew a bit about Vazquez before making the initial contract offer. Vazquez played for Cleveland in 2005-06, while Huntington was working in the Indians’ front office.

“He provides us with a legitimate major league player off the bench … or if an everyday opportunity pops up,” Huntington said.

Hmmm … it is possible a spot might “pop up” if and when the Pirates finally trade shortstop Jack Wilson. Vazquez has spent much of his career as a utility player, but is a natural shortstop.

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