Erisbel Arruebarrena DFA’d by Dodgers
The Dodgers have designated shortstop Erisbel Arruebarrena for assignment, clearing room on the 40-man roster for recently signed Brett Anderson.
Arruebarrena, 24, is viewed as an elite defender at shortstop, but his offense is a huge question mark.
Across four minor league levels in 2014, Arruebarrena hit .259/.304/.417. In a tiny sample size with the Dodgers (45 plate appearances), Arruebarrena hit .195/.244/.220.
Arruebarrena is owed $18 million in a contract that runs through 2018.
With Arruebarrena having been DFA’d, the Dodgers can place him on waivers, trade him, or release him.
If Arruebarrena is claimed off waivers, the claiming team would assume his entire contract.
If Arruebarrena clears waivers, the Dodgers can outright him to the minors. The Dodgers could also release Arruebarrena, making him a free agent, but that’s viewed as highly unlikely.
It’s not expected that any team will claim Arruebarrena off waivers, meaning that the likeliest outcome is that he is either traded by the Dodgers or outrighted to the minor leagues after he clears waivers.
By DFA’ing him, the Dodgers have shown how little they value Arruebarrena. The Mets – or any team with interest – can step in and offer a middling prospect to the Dodgers in exchange for Arruebarrena while asking the Dodgers to pick up a significant portion of his remaining salary.
As was written in this space a few weeks ago, while Arruebarrena is unproven offensively, his defense is special. The Mets would be wise to take a chance on him if they don’t have another shortstop option they’re expecting to acquire.
Here’s a scouting report on Arruebarrena from Baseball America:
"At 6 feet, 195 pounds, Arruebarrena has clean hands, quick actions and good body control. He’s a below-average runner, but his quick first step and instincts give him good range. He has a quick transfer and a plus-plus arm with accuracy, which allows him to make throws from deep in the hole and turn 4-6-3 double plays with ease. His awareness in the field is advanced and he’s shown the ability to make the barehanded play look routine and make strong throws from different angles. Scouts have called Arruebarrena a magician in the field, and if he can hit enough to be an everyday major league shortstop, he has the potential to win a Gold Glove.The bat, however, is a major source of concern with Arruebarrena, even more so than with Iglesias and more along the lines of Marlins Cuban shortstop Adeiny Hechavarria. A righthanded hitter, Arruebarrena has a long swing, struggles with pitch recognition, swings through breaking balls in the strike zone and is prone to chasing too many pitches out of the strike zone. He has a pull-oriented approach and minimal power, so several scouts are skeptical he could hit better than .220 or hit a .300 on-base percentage against major league pitching."
Again, there are major questions about Arruebarrena’s offensive potential. Still, if the Mets can acquire him for a non-impact prospect with the Dodgers assuming most of his salary, it would be a very worthy gamble.