Dodgers Nearing Deal With Cuban Shortstop Arruebarruena

The Dodgers are nearing an agreement with Cuban shortstop Erisbel Arruebarruena, reports Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes (Spanish link). Arruebarruena, who defected from Cuba last year and established residence in Haiti, is traveling to the United States to take a physical, according to Rojas' source.

The 23-year-old Arruebarruena has six seasons of professional experience in Cuba's Serie Nacional and therefore is not subject to the spending restrictions placed on international amateurs. He is free to sign with any club for any amount.

Arruebarruena is considered an elite defensive shortstop, but most scouts have serious questions about his bat. Though Arruebarruena 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 Arruebarruena 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 Arruebarruena has drawn comparisons to fellow Cuban shortstop Jose Iglesias.

This would mark the third significant Cuban signing for the Dodgers in the past two years, as the team has also inked Yasiel Puig and Alexander Guerrero. The Dodgers appear set in the infield with Juan Uribe, Hanley Ramirez, Guerrero (or Chone Figgins, Dee Gordon or Miguel Rojas) and Adrian Gonzalez. However, a deal for Arruebarruena would likely be made with an eye on the long-term. Badler noted in his write-up that the defensive wizard would almost certainly require some minor league seasoning to hone his offensive skills, possibly having to begin at the Double-A level.


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20 Comments on "Dodgers Nearing Deal With Cuban Shortstop Arruebarruena"


jury_rigger
1 year 5 months ago

Breaking: Dodgers near deal for all free agents, present and future

dieharddodgerfan
1 year 5 months ago

Slick-fielding SS who can be a late defensive replacement for Hanley and give him the occasional day off sounds fine to me.

That said, I hope they also go after Aledmys Diaz next week, when he’s able to negotiate with MLB teams.

No reason to not have a couple options to back up SS come in this Spring and compete for the bench position.

Petcopadre
1 year 5 months ago

Isn’t recent signing, Guerrero’s first position SS? I know he’s their next 2nd baseman but a lighter hitting Arruebarruena could take over 2nd with Guerrero filling in behind Hanley.

jeremy
1 year 5 months ago

I know defense matters but with the dodgers struggles to score in the playoffs they need all the bats they can get and Guerrero has a pretty good bat

dieharddodgerfan
1 year 5 months ago

I think the Dodgers’ failing to score against the Cards was more a function of Hanley getting hurt in the series, Kemp not playing that series and the Cards’ stellar pitching than it was the Dodgers’ roster.

That said, I agree that adding Alex Guerrero to the lineup should help with the potency.

Adding Arruebarruena for a late defensive replacement and back up SS would seem reasonable.

Taking Hanley out in the 9th inning for Arrubarruena would seem to make a lot of sense.

Cabro Epico
1 year 5 months ago

I hope he makes it to the big show, so I can listen the commentators saying his lastname

Drew M
1 year 5 months ago

Cardinals need to try to get him and/or Diaz. They need shortstops and im not convinced Peralta can handle that position after the 2015 season.

John Donovan
1 year 5 months ago

You are not convinced that Peralta, a 2 time All Star with 24 career WAR, can handle shortstop at age 34. However, you are convinced that two guys that have never seen big league pitching can. I guess it makes sense to you.

Drew M
1 year 5 months ago

defensively im not. Offensively I think he could. Diaz looks promising, although not as good with the glove as Arruebarruena, I think he would be an upgrade over Peralta defensively.

John Donovan
1 year 5 months ago

Just read what I wrote before and REALLY think about it.

Drew M
1 year 5 months ago

read what you wrote. stand by what I said. I prefer SS with good range, and Peralta doesn’t have that.

John Donovan
1 year 5 months ago

Fair enough, but it looks like 1 person agrees with your statement and 8 people don’t. You might end up right, but those are the kind of risks that get GMs fired when they don’t work out.

Drew M
1 year 5 months ago

I’m not saying just get rid of Peralta, but go after one of them and send them to the minors. If they dont work out, then you still have Peralta, and if they do then great.

Rally Weimaraner
1 year 5 months ago

Would be a good long term 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.

ziggy13
1 year 5 months ago

Reminds me more of Adeiny Hechavarria

RJDavis11
1 year 5 months ago

Just when the equipment manager was having a sigh of relief after the Dodgers passed on Jarrod Saltalamacchia…

$1961279
1 year 5 months ago

the first name to completely circle the number on the back of the jersey?

Infield Fly
1 year 5 months ago

Not quite, but it does make a good 12-6 curve there (I saw it when he played for Team Cuba in the WBC).

1 year 5 months ago

If anybody can handle [that name], it’s Vin Scully… unless he retires first!

charles
1 year 5 months ago

i know he could