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Cuban shortstop Erisbel Arruebarruena defects to sign with MLB team

Nov 19, 2013, 12:12 PM EDT

Erisbel Arruebarruena Getty Images

Ben Badler of Baseball America reports that shortstop Erisbel Arruebarruena has defected from Cuba with the intention of signing with an MLB team.

Badler calls Arruebarruena a “defensive wizard” and because he’s 23 years old with plenty of experience in Cuba his contract won’t count against teams’ international signing limits. In other words, it’ll be a free-for-all.

Scouts told Badler that Arruebarruena might have trouble hitting higher than .220 in the big leagues, but it sounds like he could be viewed by many teams as a starting-caliber shortstop based on defense alone.

Another Cuban shortstop, Alexander Guerrero, recently signed a four-year, $28 million deal with the Dodgers, but he’s likely to play second base in the majors and is viewed as a potential impact hitter.

  1. uyf1950 - Nov 19, 2013 at 12:27 PM

    Say hello to Jeter’s 2015 replacement, hello Erisbel Arruebarruena.

    • artthoumad - Nov 19, 2013 at 12:40 PM

      More like Cano’s replacement if he doesn’t change his demands

  2. ryanrockzzz - Nov 19, 2013 at 12:28 PM

    So there will be about the same market for this guy as there was for Brendan Ryan right? Most teams have to be able to find a shortstop that can be expected to hit higher than .220.

    • missthemexpos - Nov 19, 2013 at 12:32 PM

      Blue Jays would jump all over a defensive catcher that could hit 220.

  3. missthemexpos - Nov 19, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    With all the defections, gotta figure the talent level left in Cuba must be running low.

    • spudchukar - Nov 19, 2013 at 1:09 PM

      Cuba is larger than the D.R. so I doubt there is a shortage.

      • raysfan1 - Nov 19, 2013 at 1:53 PM

        Cuba’s population is estimated around 11.1M vs 10.2 for the DR. Like the DR, baseball is extremely popular in Cuba, so I doubt there is any real paucity of talent remaining there despite the recent handful of defections.

  4. xpensivewinos - Nov 19, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    That collective groan you hear is every announcer in the country who will or might have to pronounce this dude’s name…….

    • Francisco (FC) - Nov 19, 2013 at 1:41 PM

      It’s already hard to pronounce in Spanish, I dread when someone tries in English.

      • umrguy42 - Nov 19, 2013 at 4:50 PM

        Hrm… leaving aside stresses, “ah-roo-eh-bahr-roo-eh-nuh”?

      • Francisco (FC) - Nov 19, 2013 at 4:52 PM

        That’s pretty good! Have a scooby snack!

    • uwsptke - Nov 19, 2013 at 1:41 PM

      There is certainly no shortage of “R”‘s to roll.

    • yahmule - Nov 20, 2013 at 9:56 AM

      I think its a great name. Very lyrical.

  5. toodrunktotastethischicken - Nov 19, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    Jarrod Saltalamacchia still wins the longest last name ever contest.

    • nbjays - Nov 20, 2013 at 9:47 AM

      True, but Doug Mientkiewicz’s is harder to spell.

  6. chill1184 - Nov 19, 2013 at 12:32 PM

    Got to love the Cuban market

  7. thebadguyswon - Nov 19, 2013 at 12:37 PM

    But can he hit?

    • aphillieated - Nov 19, 2013 at 12:42 PM

      Nope.

  8. bitlrc - Nov 19, 2013 at 12:44 PM

    if he’s 1/2 as good as Michael Martinez, I have to imagine RAJ will be all over him

    • MLBlogsbig3bosox - Nov 19, 2013 at 1:33 PM

      Nah, too young.

  9. phillysports1 - Nov 19, 2013 at 12:50 PM

    I joke around with Ruben all the times lmao how’s he’s the worst GM in all sports but in a serious way . Lets be real the guy is the dumbest s*** in America . But I really hope he signs him !!!

  10. chiadam - Nov 19, 2013 at 1:11 PM

    I’m just impressed that he has the letter R in his last name four times.

    • ptfu - Nov 19, 2013 at 1:26 PM

      With all those R’s, he’s surely going to be a Pirate! ARRRR, shiver me timbers and set sail for Pittsburgh!

  11. phillysports1 - Nov 19, 2013 at 1:58 PM

    Guys , I’m from the Dominican Republic born and raise there . That country is only known for baseball . Baseball baseball . All we play is baseball . We wake up at 6 in the morning , eat breakfast . Walk 10 miles In a 100 degree weather just to play baseball . No country in the world loves baseball more like we love our sport . Sorry guys . Not even close .. Lol

  12. classicfinder - Nov 19, 2013 at 3:52 PM

    220, 222 whatever it takes.

  13. classicfinder - Nov 19, 2013 at 3:55 PM

    What did Badler talk to Harrelson? Is he a hacker? What does his OBP project to be?

  14. moogro - Nov 19, 2013 at 8:42 PM

    That defense that matters a lot won’t matter come awards season.

  15. soundsofsuccess7 - Nov 19, 2013 at 10:45 PM

    Scouts also say announcers are praying This guy never makes it

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