A week after news first broke out about an agreement, the terms of the deal between the Dodgers and free agent Cuban Shortstop Erisbel Arruebarruena have been reported by Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal. The contract will be for five years and 25 million dollars, including an immediate 7.5 million dollar signing bonus.
The signing is for three million dollars and one fewer year than Los Angeles gave to fellow Cuban middle infielder Alexander Guerrero last October. It is the fifth largest contract ever given to a Cuban defector, behind those of Jose Abreu, Yasiel Puig, Yoenis Cespedes, and Aroldis Chapman.
When word of the the deal first leaked last week, we wrote this on the young shorstop;
“Although a below-average runner, Arruebarruena has been praised by scouts for his elite glove. In a report on the Cuban shortstop last november, Baseball America’s Ben Badler referred to him as a “defensive wizard,” praising his instincts, range, arm strength and accuracy, and general awareness in the field, which combine to give him gold glove potential.
Unlike the Dodgers’ other Cuban middle infield signee, Alexander Guerrero, however, Arruebarruena is a major question mark at the plate. His performance in the Cuban Series Nacional was more than respectable – .320/.367/.520 line for the 2011-2012 season – but stats from that league are poor indicators of a batter’s ability to hit in the majors. In that same report, Badler decried the 23 year old’s poor pitch recognition, inability to hit a breaking ball, lack of power, and pull-heavy approach. He relayed that several scouts doubted Arruebarruena could hit more than .220 or a post an OBP above .300 at the major league level.”