Cuban outfielder Yasiel Puig has reached agreement on a $42 million, seven-year contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, sources told Enrique Rojas of ESPNdeportesLosAngeles.com.
The agreement is pending a physical exam, and would be the largest dollar figure accorded a Cuban defector, surpassing the four-year, $36 million deal of Oakland Athletics outfielder Yoenis Céspedes in February.
According to an industry source, the Dodgers have agreed to a multiyear deal worth more than $40 million with 21-year-old international prospect Yasiel Puig, a 6-foot-3, 210-pound outfielder from Cuba.
A top prospect in the island's premier league, the Cuban National Series (Serie Nacional), Puig hit .276 with five home runs during his first campaign with Cienfuegos in 2008-09 and had a breakout year the next season, hitting .330 with 17 home runs and 78 RBIs. He did not play for Cienfuegos during the 2011-12 seasons because he was being disciplined for attempting to defect.
The remainder of the numbers — the on-base percentage, strikeout-to-walk ratio, etc. — are comparable. Even the doubles are comparable. Puig reportedly has above-average speed and was once considered the “fastest player in Cuban baseball” before defecting, so it’s not overly surprising that Puig would collect more triples than Cespedes
Stan Kasten said yesterday that Dodger scouts and management were totally focused on bringing in a big fish before the free agent international deadline of July 2nd. For once there will be no talk of being close, this time, this management team got the deal done.
This may or may not work out, but no one can fault the team for being aggressive in a an area they have neglected this decade.
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