LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — The LA Dodgers announced Saturday they’ve signed free agent Cuban infielder Erisbel Arruebarrena to a five-year contract worth $25 million.
The 23-year-old, known for his defense, posted a .276 batting average during his six seasons with Cienfuegos in the Cuban Serie Nacional from 2007-2013. He’s primarily appeared as a shortstop professionally, while also having played second and third base.
“Signing Arruebarrena gives us another very good middle infielder, who is an outstanding defender,” said Dodger General Manager Ned Colletti. “It continues our efforts internationally to add talent that can positively affect the Major League club – be it immediately or in the very near future.”
With Cienfuegos during the 2012-13 season, Arruebarrena hit .293 with a .366 on-base percentage, six home runs and 32 RBI in 70 regular-season games before going 6-for-14 (.429) in six postseason contests.
The Cienfuegos, Cuba native was the starting shortstop for his home country in the 2013 World Baseball Classic, batting .375 with a .444 on-base percentage, four runs scored and two RBI in six games in the tournament. He also played internationally for Cuba in the 2011 Pan American Games and batted .445 (8-for-18) with three runs scored, a double and an RBI in five games.
Arruebarruna played alongside Dodger outfielder Yasiel Puig with Cienfuegos in 2010-11.