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Dodgers sign Cuban shortstop Erisbel Arruebarrena for $25M

Photo: Nick Ut/AP

Ned Colletti and the Dodgers announced the signing of Erisbel Arruebarrena on Saturday.

GLENDALE, Ariz. -- The Los Angeles Dodgers have signed Cuban shortstop Erisbel Arruebarrena to a five-year contract.

The Dodgers announced the deal Saturday. New reports say the contract is worth $25 million, including a $7.5 million signing bonus.

"We think he adds to our major league club at some point this year," Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said.

The Dodgers had been negotiating with Arruebarrena for several days. The 23-year-old infielder defected from Cuba last fall, establishing residency in Haiti. He has been working out in the Dominican Republic, according to the Colletti. Colletti said Arruebarrena still has to acquire a work visa.

"We'll get him as soon as we can get him here," Colletti said. "We need to see him on an everyday basis."

Arruebarrena was a teammate of Yasiel Puig's in the Cuban League from 2010-11. He is touted for his defense but Colletti said his offense still needs work. Still, Arruebarrena was starting shortstop for Cuba in the 2013 World Baseball Classic and batted .375 with four runs and two RBIs in six games.

Arruebarrena joins Puig and Alex Guererro as three Cubans signed by the Dodgers in the past two years. Los Angeles also drafted pitcher Onelki Garcia in 2012. He defected to the United States in 2010.

Copyright 2014 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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