Dodgers Sign Erisbel Arruebarrena

FEB. 22The deal is now official, the Los Angeles Times' Dylan Hernandez tweets.

FEB. 21, 6:51pm: Arrubarrena gets a five year deal for $25MM, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, including a $7.5MM signing bonus.

3:53pm: The deal is for five years, tweets Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com.

FEB. 20: MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez reports that Arruebarrena's deal is believed to be five or six years in length. According to Sanchez, Arruebarrena is working out in the Dominican Republic as he awaits his work Visa. Without the Visa, the contract cannot be finalized, which is why the Dodgers have yet to make an official announcement. GM Ned Colletti did tell Sanchez the following:

"We signed Alexander [Guerrero] and we’re trying to sign another player because it’s tough in the Draft to find those players. You are pretty limited in the Draft as far as good hitters that can play in the middle of the infield. The way we look at it, we have the need for it in our organization and we’ve gone after them the way we have."

FEB. 12, 3:20pm: Arruebarrena's contract could be worth around $25MM, a source tells Rojas (Spanish language link).

12:27pm: The Dodgers have agreed to terms with Cuban shortstop Erisbel Arruebarrena, according to MLB.com's Ken Gurnick (Twitter link). Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes reported earlier today that the two sides were nearing an agreement, and Arruebarrena was traveling to the United States to take a physical.

The 23-year-old Arruebarrena has six seasons of professional experience in Cuba's Serie Nacional and therefore is not subject to the spending restrictions placed on international amateurs. Arruebarrena is considered an elite defensive shortstop, but most scouts have serious questions about his bat. Though Arruebarrena batted .320/.367/.520 in 306 plate appearances in Cuba from 2011-12, Ben Badler of Baseball America spoke with multiple scouts at the time of his defection and noted that many questioned whether Arruebarrena could manage a .220 average or .300 OBP in the Majors. He's also not a particularly fast player, further limiting his offensive upside. Given all of that info, it's not difficult to see why Arruebarrena has drawn comparisons to fellow Cuban shortstop Jose Iglesias.

Arruebarrena adds to the Dodgers' infield depth, but it's unlikely that he'll be ready to make an immediate impact in the Major Leagues. Badler noted that some minor league time was almost a certainty for Arruebarrena, adding that he could even have to start at the Double-A level due to his questionable offensive skills. Arruebarrena can serve as an insurance policy in the event that the team is unable to reach an extension with Hanley Ramirez. He could also provide an elite in-house option at short (defensively speaking, that is) should Ramirez sign an extension but eventually need to move to third base. Arruebarrena joins Yasiel Puig and Alexander Guerrero as the third notable Cuban signing for the Dodgers in the past two years.


79 Responses to Dodgers Sign Erisbel Arruebarrena Leave a Reply

  1. WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

    Good move for LAD. Hanley, if extended, would be better used at 3B in 2015 and beyond. Arruebarruena can spend 2014 in the minors working on his hitting and takeover SS in 2015 when Hanley leaves or is moved to 3B.

    • Hanley 1 year ago

      What about Corey seager

    • William R Mack 1 year ago

      Where do you suppose seager fits into the equation?

      • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

        Given that Seager is 19, hasn’t made it above A+ ball and hit .160/.246/.320 in A+ ball last year I wasn’t too concerned about fitting him into the MLB roster. Plus the chance of Arruebarruena, Gurrero and Seager all becoming quality everyday MLB players is pretty low.

        • Dustin Nosler 1 year ago

          Yet, Seager is the best of that trio… by far.

      • johnsilver 1 year ago

        No offense to LAD fans, but you have to understand that Seagar is 3-4 years away.. He’s got only a fraction of a season beyond low A ball.

        • BlueSkyLA
          BlueSkyLA 1 year ago

          No offense taken here. I’m not one of those fans who pencils every prospect into the lineup. That said I don’t think this signing says much if anything about what the Dodgers are thinking about Seager. They said they would build depth, and that’s what they are doing.

          • johnsilver 1 year ago

            The money for glove types from Cuba seem to have gone up, or compared to Iglesias 4Y ago. Iggy got 4/8m as a 21YO, came over with same credentials. Now we see Arruebarruena getting 25m total at 23.

            Getting an elite glove in itself (like Igelsias) and hoping they hit some would be worth 25m of course, though it does show how much the rate for Cuban players has gone up as more and more have established themselves into MLB ball from the Cuban league.

          • BlueSkyLA
            BlueSkyLA 1 year ago

            The money for everything has gone up. It’s really difficult to know where this deal falls when we don’t know how many years.

      • meep 1 year ago

        I don’t think this has anything to do with seager. If seager can get it together there no question he will start with the dodgers since his bat will be much better then this Cuban SS. I would take a Hanley like player over a player with a good glove and a ok bat.

    • GameMusic3 1 year ago

      I think a lot of the fan base puts insufficient value in ‘non-premium’ defensive positions.

      First base is actually a vitally important defensive position involved with more plays that any other but catcher and pitcher. But since it can be handled by a lot of players people think otherwise.

      What I am getting at is Hanley’s defense at short and 3rd. So far he has been a below average shortstop but a straight up bad 3rd baseman. I have a lot of hesitance to extend him long term due to the possibility he might not HAVE another position except the outfield and DH.

      • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

        If he hits like he did in 2013 no one will care how bad his defense is at 3B (see Cabrera). Having a solid defensive SS with good range will also help compensate for Hanley’s defensive short comings at 3B.

        • IdontknowwhyIpostonforums 1 year ago

          My biggest issue with Hanley is is health. This is the second time in three years he has missed significant time. While he has a good track record prior to 2011, he is not getting younger and is playing a very demanding position. Bat and glove are meaningless if he doesn’t play.

  2. meep 1 year ago

    From what they are saying at this point in time I think he will be a good back up. If he can prove he can hit mlb pitching then we can talk about him starting

    • Puig Power 1 year ago

      I am of the opinion that an elite defensive shortstop might be worth sacrificing a bat for. Regardless the poster above is correct. This is a great depth move and gives the Dodgers more options.

      • meep 1 year ago

        Oh yes this is the type of signings the dodgers need since the minors lack real IF depth. If he did start with the dodgers in the future I wouldn’t be mad but not if it mean it take seager spot. But this could really mean Hanley not a lock to sign and this get us younger if Hanley doesn’t sign. So either way it a win win for the dodgers if he pans out

  3. ceraunograph 1 year ago

    I wonder what he signed for. I was hoping the Mets would sign him since I don’t believe in Tejada and there’s very little depth behind him. Still holding out hope they’re saving the splash for Diaz, who has much more upside.

  4. Puig Power 1 year ago

    Where’s Harry Caray when you need him?

  5. WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

    Arruebarruena could receive a guarantee of around $25MM over how many years? 2/25 vs 5/25 is a big difference.

  6. Eslva917 1 year ago

    10/25

  7. GRN_ 1 year ago

    25 million for a defensive specialist? Big Overpay.

    • WhoKilledTheRallyMonkey 1 year ago

      How can you know its an overpay without knowing the years? 10/25 underpay, 1/25 overpay

      • GRN_ 1 year ago

        25 million guaranteed is the overpay. How many defense only shortstops get a 25 million guaranteed contract ever in their careers?

        • First Bleed 1 year ago

          Agree. I think the key word is ‘guaranteed’. He might not ever play in a Major League game but the Dodgers are paying like he is.

          • Steve Adams 1 year ago

            This could be said of most international signings.

        • Steve Adams 1 year ago

          Elvis Andrus had a career OPS+ of 84 when he signed his $120MM deal. Granted, he’s not a useless hitter, but he’s below average with the bat and also signed for nearly five times this guarantee.

          Teams pay for defense, especially at shortstop. If he’s in the Simmons/Iglesias sphere of defensive talent (and it sounds like he’s at least close), paying for that isn’t a bad call. Especially if it’s over five to six years.

          • GRN_ 1 year ago

            I don’t think that comparison is valid personally, Andrus has a quality bat just lacks power, he also has the ability to swipe 40 bags a year while playing stellar D. Why wouldn’t he get a contract closer to what Iglesis recieved if he’s the best comparison?

          • Steve Adams 1 year ago

            Arruebarruena did get a deal closer to what Iglesias got. His agreement is for $17MM more over 1-2 more years than Iglesias, which isn’t that shocking when considering the fact that Iglesias signed as a 19-year-old about 4.5 years ago. Given inflation and the increased market value of defense, it’s not that surprising, especially from a team like the Dodgers.

            As for Andrus, he may have a passable bat for a shortstop, but that doesn’t change that he was, by definition of OPS+ (or wRC+), 16 to 13 percent worse than the league-average with the bat at the time of his extension, and he was worse in 2013. He makes up for some of that value via baserunning, but he got paid primarily for his glove.

      • Leonard Washington 1 year ago

        See Jose Iglesias’s deal. A lot less money and I can’t imagine this guy is as good with the glove.

        • Steve Adams 1 year ago

          Iglesias also signed his deal as a 19-year-old more than four years ago.

  8. Troy Griff Cavell 1 year ago

    25M!!

  9. Guest 1 year ago

    I like the Dodgers strategy.. Can’t lose if you sign every player in the entire league!

    • IdontknowwhyIpostonforums 1 year ago

      I know! I was so excited when they got Tanaka. Then when Ellsbury, Cano, Garza all signed I immediately bought season tickets for the next 10 years!. The best part I must say is when we locked up Granderson, Choo, McCann, Nathan, Beltran and Napoli! It has been the best Dodger off season ever!

  10. Anthony Hughes 1 year ago

    It also adds another player to the prospect list. Keep stockpiling. I like it. Could come in handy if/when trades are necessary.

  11. Seamaholic 1 year ago

    Holy overpay … for a defensive specialist who probably can’t hit in the big leagues? Don’t they have a bunch of these types of players bouncing around their system, like most teams?

    • EVIL EMPIRE 1 year ago

      I agree, not sure if scouts are saying his bat is bad with the potential of being average, or if it’s that overall he is projected to be a below-average offensive player. If it’s the latter then the dodgers would have been better off sending some cash to some other team for a defensive-oriented SS. Unless his bat is average, it’s an overpay

    • Gnotorious 1 year ago

      Yeah, they could have gotten Paul Janish for around a million a season.

  12. Brian Bullock 1 year ago

    That’s a lot of letters for a jersey.

  13. Puig Power 1 year ago

    These comments remind me of what people thought of the Puig signing. Lets not rush to judgement just yet.

    • Gnotorious 1 year ago

      Puig was known for his bat and athleticism. All this guy is known for is his defense. Below average bat and speed. Not really a comparison.

      • pft2 1 year ago

        By reporting to camp 26 lbs overweight, meaning not good weight, he may not be as athletic now, but point taken. Defensive players are a dime a dozen. Hitters are the rare commodity that you should pay for.

        • CDADodgers 1 year ago

          Puig coming in @6’3 and 250+ lbs is not a bad thing since he left the session underweight. It’s a long haul and you have to put on weight to sustain the length of the season.

  14. George Hareras 1 year ago

    There needs to be a major overhaul with the way teams throw money around. Maybe some sort of cap floor could work. Seriously the Dodgers signed a defensive oriented ss as infield depth for 25 million guaranteed when teams like the Pirates cant dish out a QO on AJ Burnett because its over budget.

  15. nwh2787 1 year ago

    Let Dodger tickets become expensive for the next 20 years….smh…..

  16. nwh2787 1 year ago

    My question is how many years did they get him for. I heard he’s a mediocre player.

  17. SanFranPanda 1 year ago

    Gonna be another Adeiny Hechavarria. Good defence, below average bat and lonnnng last name.

  18. Steve_in_MA 1 year ago

    Except Iglesias has shown that he can surpass .220 BA, .300 OBP and has some speed, including a very high number of infield hits based on his quickness. I don’t know anything about Arruebarruena, but the comparison to Iglesias sounds unfair to Iggy.

    • pft2 1 year ago

      Iggy was much younger as well so they really did not have an idea how well he would progress as a hitter. There was hope he could hit as he matured and got stronger. This guys already 23 and might have bad habits as a hitter that at his age will be hard to change

  19. mmiller54 1 year ago

    Really… $25 million? Really?

  20. Anthony Hughes 1 year ago

    The Dodgers’ scouts obviously liked him enough. People were incredulous when they signed Puig. And if he’s an all-field, light-hitting player, that can play in the big leagues, particularly if you have a big-time lineup around the guy and if you have as much invested in your pitching staff as the Dodgers do.

  21. brian 1 year ago

    This just in, Dodgers to sign anything with a heartbeat.

    • meep 1 year ago

      I trust who they sign since dodgers have sign and drafted some of the best players over the years. Logan white our scout is one of the best. In my thought he needs to be gm

      • brian 1 year ago

        On a serious note, I don’t think the signing was awful. He plays the middle infield, and you always want depth there. I just wish that the teams with small wallets were equal to those with big wallets is all. Wouldn’t it be nice if the spread of free agent signings was less lopsided?

      • MilkMeMore 1 year ago

        Lol, like always.

  22. Ken Krahenbuhl 1 year ago

    Bad move.Cory seagar will be ready in 2015 and is a much better hitter

    • thegrayrace 1 year ago

      There are three infield spots to fill between Seager, Guerrero, Arruebarruena and potentially Hanley Ramirez, if he is extended. Not a bad move at all.

  23. BLEEDBLUE420 1 year ago

    Anyone actually know the terms??

  24. Leonard Washington 1 year ago

    Iglesias has the best hands I have ever seen. It would be hard to live up to that on D.

  25. Petcopadre 1 year ago

    I read posts that say Seager is better than both Guerrero and Arruebarruena but how can anybody be so certain? Seager’s stat line last year was .160/.246/.320 in A+ ball. Both Guerrero and Arruebarruena have excellent gloves but yet unproven bats. I suppose the Dodgers would have the best grasp on who they see as their future middle/corner infielders but yet continue to stock up on position players who may step ahead of Seager in the depth chart. Perhaps the Dodgers are “seasoning” Seager to be sure he’s ready when he is called but for now, the Dodgers haven’t shown much confidence that it will be anytime soon.

    • meep 1 year ago

      It never hurts to have depth. These signs doesn’t mean anything for seager. If anything Hanley would be the one to block seager if Hanley moves to 3rd

    • Mark T. 1 year ago

      Seager will not be ready until 2016 ( when he is 21) he might get a call up at the end of 2015 but he still has a way to go. This is a good depth signing and a way to give Hanley a few innings off at the end of blowouts or to give Hanley a day off when needed while improving the defense in the later innings. Once Hanley moves to 3B and Seager takes over SS Arreubarreuna provides insurance at SS/2B. We are paying him what we basically paid Mark Ellis just on a 5/6 yr deal. Plus he could figure to be a trade chip if we end up not having room for him as Boston did with Jose Iglesias

    • thegrayrace 1 year ago

      Seager played 74 games in A ball last season and hit .309/.389/.529 before being promoted. The A+ numbers are a pretty small sample size, only 27 games. Probably nothing to be concerned about. Seager is a consensus Top 50 prospect (his average ranking is around 30th), but he’s not projected to be ready until 2016. Maybe a September call up in 2015 if he really excels.

    • dieharddodgerfan 1 year ago

      Any good GM wants to build quality depth in the farm system.

      Signing Arruebarruena in no way reflects how the organization feel about Seager.

      Dodgers are just accumulating talent and building the system.

  26. $21621694 1 year ago

    Great deal. The reports of this kid are off the charts. I’m glad to see he didn’t sign for crazy money like $50 MM or more

  27. Ron Loreski 1 year ago

    I can’t wait to hear Vin Scully say that name.

  28. pft2 1 year ago

    25 million? That’s double what Iglesias got.

    • Puig Power 1 year ago

      Iglesias was acquired in trade. This is a FA signing.

      • pft2 1 year ago

        Red Sox signed him as an amateur international free agent. 4 yrs 8.25 million.

        • BlueSkyLA
          BlueSkyLA 1 year ago

          Five years ago.

          • pft2 1 year ago

            Ok, so adjust for inflation and that is 10 million. Still considerably less for a comparable player with higher upside

          • Anthony Hughes 1 year ago

            It’s not as simple as “adjust for inflation.” The market has changed considerably in the past few years.

          • BlueSkyLA
            BlueSkyLA 1 year ago

            Iglesias was also 20 years old at the time he signed, meaning he could be expected to spend most of his time under contract in the minors, which he did. The Dodgers have to be thinking that Arreubarrunea, at 23, is much closer to being ready for a MLB assignment.

  29. Jose Villasano 1 year ago

    Ramirez is probably saying that wheres my contract extension

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