Dodgers Sign Cuban Outfielder Puig

6/29/12 in MLB   |   marcasg   |   18 respect

The Los Angeles Dodgers announced a seven-year deal with defected Cuban outfielder Yasiel Puig on Friday. The team didn't release the details of the contract, but reports have placed it at $42 million.

But don't expect to see him patrolling the outfield at Dodger Stadium this year. He's currently residing in Mexico, where he's been cleared by the U.S. government to enter the country. The team has no plans to rush him to the big leagues. Instead, Puig will start with the Dodgers' Arizona League team in Glendale where he'll have a chance to adjust to life in America.

Time was of the essence for Puig with Major League Baseball's new international signing period set to begin next week. The rule limits teams to spending a total of $2.9 million to sign international amateurs. It meant Puig needed to pass a physical and agree to a deal by Monday.

It comes as the official opening salvo from the team's new ownership group who pledged to fans that they would join the big money arms race with the likes of the Yankees and Red Sox. It also reinforces the renewed focus coming from the Dodgers front office. From team president Stan Kasten to general manager Ned Colletti, the Blue brass insists the Dodgers will very active in the trade market.

All of which should do a little something to soothe the frayed nerves of the fan base. With the team in the midst of its worst stretch of the season and waiting on the returns of Matt Kemp and Andre Ethier, the thought of more help coming soon is a positive one. L.A. scouting director Logan White described Puig as a five-tool player with “raw power”, going so far as to compare him to Sammy Sosa.

Puig was added to the team's 40-man roster. Justin Sellers was moved to the 60-day disabled list to make room.
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