A source told Enrique Rojas that the Dodgers deal with Cuban shortstop Erisbel Arruebarruena could be worth up to 25 million dollars. Would this be considered overpaying for a guy who is considered to be bench depth?
We heard news yesterday that the Dodgers had reached a preliminary agreement with the 23-year old Cuban infielder. The club has yet to make the signing official as the contract is still pending a physical, and other issues, such as his Visa.
Cuban Shortstop Erisbel Arruebarruena
What this does do however is add Arruebarruena into the mix of the crowded competition for the Dodger bench. While the young Cuban batted .320 during the 2011-2012 seasons, he also has six seasons of experience playing in the Cuban National Series. Arruebarruena performed very well during the World Baseball Classic last spring. During the tournament, the shortstop hit .375 (6 for 16) with two home runs, and six runs driven in. That comes out to an .819 OPS. Not bad for a guy who the scouting reports say probably would’t hit above .200.
Arruebarrauena might be more useful than we think. Considering he is a natural shortstop, he could provide valuable depth at middle infield. With Hanley Ramirez’s history of injury, and some uncertainty at second base with their other newly signed Cuban infielder Alexander Guerrero, this could be just what the Dodgers need. Arruebarruena could become the backup at second and short.
If the Dodgers can get the deal finalized, and work out all of the immigration/Visa issues, Arruebarruena could conceivably compete for a bench spot later in spring. If he can be better than guys like Dee Gordon, Chone Figgins, and Justin Turner, remains to be seen. Do you think Arruebarruena could be a good addition to the Dodger bench?