While Yasiel Puig was the headliner in the Los Angeles Dodgers’ investment on Cuban talent, the organization also signed Erisbel Arruebarrena and Alex Guerrero. Puig has undeniably had the best career thus far of the trio, with Guerrero behind him, and Arruebarrena bringing up the rear.
The defensive-minded shortstop signed a five-year, $25 million contract with the Dodgers in February 2014 that included a $7.5 million signing bonus and increasing annual salaries. Arruebarrena was designated for assignment during the offseason and outrighted to the Minors after clearing waivers.
He endured a difficult 2015 season under a new front office regime and last May was suspended for the entire season. Arruebarrena filed a grievance and had it reduced to 30 games. In 53 games with three Minor League affiliates, he batted .299/.337/.418 with 12 doubles, one triple, three home runs and 15 RBIs.
The bulk of Arruebarrena’s playing time came with Double-A Tulsa, where he hit .287/.317/.368 with six doubles, one triple, one home run and nine RBIs over 38 games.
Arruebarrena began 2016 with the Drillers, but Dodgers director of player development Gabe Kapler said he’s been suspended for the remainder of the season, according to Eric Stephen of True Blue LA:
Dodgers suspended Erisbel Arruebarrena for rest of 2016 "for repeated failure to comply with the terms of his contract" per Gabe Kapler
— #TBLAYourFriend (@truebluela) May 4, 2016
In 17 games, Arruebarrena hit .182/.224/.400 with four home runs. After playing second and third base and shortstop last season, the versatile infielder exclusively played shortstop in 2016.
Arruebarrena’s lone time in the Majors came in 2014, when he appeared in 22 games and hit .195/.244/.220 The 26 year old was owed $4 million this season and in 2017, and $5 million in 2018.