After a few weeks of reports, the Los Angeles Dodgers have finalized a deal with Cuban shortstop Erisbel Arruebarrena. The contract is worth $25 million over five years, and Arruebarrena will receive a $7.5 million signing bonus. To make room for Arruebarrena, the Dodgers have designated Justin Sellers for assignment.
Playing in Cuba’s highest league, Arruebarrena slashed .320/.367/.520, although most scouts do not hold the shortstop’s bat in high regard. Most scouts do agree that Arruebarrena’s glove is elite, and general manager Ned Colletti believes that the Cuban émigré will be able to contribute to the big league club at some point this year, saying in a press release:
“Signing Arruebarrena gives us another very good middle infielder, who is an outstanding defender. It continues our efforts internationally to add talent that can positively affect the Major League club – be it immediately or in the very near future.”
While Colletti did not wish to put a timetable on Chad Billingsley’s return, the fact that the club chose to DFA Sellers instead of moving Billingsley to the 60-day disabled list may indicate that the pitcher is ahead of schedule.
Colletti, who said that he views Arruebarrena as shortstop in the long term, noted that Hanley Ramirez has been receptive to the idea of an eventual move to third base.
Note: Previous reports indicated that Arruebarrena’s name was spelled “Arruebarruena.” The spelling in this report is the correct version.
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