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Dodgers ink Cuban infielder Erisbel Arruebarrena to five-year deal

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The Dodgers signed 23-year old Cuban Erisbel Arruebarrena to a five-year deal, the team announced today. The 6’1” 200-pound defensive specialist has played shortstop the majority of his six-year professional career and has also appeared at second base 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.”

A teammate of Yasiel Puig with the Cienfuegos in the Cuban Serie Nacional in 2010-11, Arruebarrena has a .276 lifetime average in 437 career games. During the 2012-13 season, he hit .293 with a .366 on-base percentage.

“We are excited to sign Erisbel, who we’ve scouted in international competition for a long time,” said Dodger Vice President, International Scouting Bob Engle. “He brings another superb glove to our organization.”

Arruebarrena started for Cuba in the 2013 World Baseball Classic. In his team’s six tournament games, he hit .375 with four runs scored and two runs batted in. In the 2011 Pan American Games, Arruebarrena went 8-for-18 with three runs scored, a double and an RBI in five games.

When he arrives in camp, Arruebarrena will join Puig and Alex Guerrero as the third Cuban signed by Los Angeles in the last two years.

In the corresponding roster move, the Dodgers designated utility man Justin Sellers for assignment. The 28-year old Sellers appeared in 82 games with Los Angeles from 2011-13 playing second, third and shortstop. He batted .199 (47-for-236) with a .278 on-base percentage.

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