Dodgers sign Cuban SS Erisbel Arruebarrena

Published on NewsOK Modified: February 22, 2014 at 7:03 pm •  Published: February 22, 2014
Advertisement
;

GLENDALE, Ariz. (AP) — The Los Angeles Dodgers signed Cuban shortstop Erisbel Arruebarrena to a $25 million, five-year contract Saturday.

"We think he adds to our major league club at some point this year," Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said.

The Dodgers had been negotiating with Arruebarrena for several days. The 23-year-old infielder defected from Cuba last fall, establishing residency in Haiti. He has been working out in the Dominican Republic, according to the Colletti. Colletti said Arruebarrena still has to acquire a work visa.

"We'll get him as soon as we can get him here," Colletti said. "We need to see him on an everyday basis."

Arruebarrena was a teammate of Yasiel Puig's in the Cuban League from 2010-11. He is touted for his defense but Colletti said his offense still needs work. Still, Arruebarrena was starting shortstop for Cuba in the 2013 World Baseball Classic and batted .375 with four runs and two RBIs in six games.

"Offensively, he's a work in progress," Colletti said. "He's got power. That's the part of his game that probably needs to get better. But his defense is good enough that it was worth signing him. We signed him for the defensive part, knowing that he can play the middle of the diamond at a very high level. And, there's some offensive ability there that we'll try to fine tune."