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New York Mets Plan to Scout Cuban Shortstop

December 5th, 2013 at 2:40 PM
By Mike Phillips

'_DSC4263' photo (c) 2013, Kelly Schott - license: http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nd/2.0/
Shortstop is clearly an area of concern for the New York Mets. The Mets, who have only Ruben Tejada and Wilfredo Tovar on their 40 man roster, have been looking for external help at the position. After Jhonny Peralta signed a four year deal with the St. Louis Cardinals, the Mets appear to be exploring unconventional avenues to upgrade the position. One avenue could involve a Cuban defector. 

The Mets will be among the teams to scout Cuban shortstop Erisbel Arruebarruena, who defected from Cuba recently. Arruebarruena was Cuba's starting shortstop in the World Baseball Classic and has drawn comparisons to Detroit Tigers' shortstop Jose Iglesias. Arruebarruena, 23, will work out for multiple team's scouts on Saturday at the Yankees' complex in the Dominican Republic.

While Arruebarruena is a talented fielder, his bat has some scouts questioning his major league ability. Arruebarruena's approach at the plate is very pull happy, and with minimal power some scouts project he might struggle to hit .220 according to Ben Badler of Baseball America. The Mets have a player of similar ability on the roster in Ruben Tejada, and signing Arruebarruena may only be an option if he offers a clear defensive upgrade at the position. Defense is always at a premium at shortstop, so a light bat can be tolerated if the rest of the club is a strong hitting group. That is not the case for the Mets at the moment, so it remains to be seen whether Arruebarruena will draw significant interest from the Mets. 

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Tags: Baseball, MLB, New York, New York Mets

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