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Dodgers finalize $42-million deal with Cuban prospect Yasiel Puig

The five-tool outfielder signs a seven-year contract and is placed on the team's 40-man roster.

June 29, 2012|By Dylan Hernandez

Cuban outfield prospect Yasiel Puig is officially a Dodger after finalizing a seven-year, $42-million contract with the club on Friday.

Puig, 21, was added to the Dodgers’ 40-man roster. The team created room on the roster by moving utilityman Justin Sellers to the 60-day disabled list.

Puig was optioned to the Dodgers’ rookie-level team in Arizona and placed on the temporary inactive list.

Scouting director Logan White describe Puig as a five-tool player with “big-time power.”

“He reminds me a lot of Sammy Sosa,” White said. “We think he has a chance to be an All-Star-caliber player.”

General Manager Ned Colletti said the signing was only the “first piece” of a plan to re-establish the Dodgers’ presence in the international market.

“This signing is a snapshot of a much a bigger vision and bigger plan,” Colletti said.

The deal had to be completed quickly. Puig, who has taken residence in Mexico, wanted to sign before Monday, when the new international signing period opens. The new signing period will be subject to the rules of baseball’s new collective bargaining agreement, which gives teams a total budget of $2.9 million each to sign international amateurs.

“With this thing, we had to be prepared,” White said.

Unlike some other clubs, the Dodgers had previously scouted Puig at international youth tournaments. Also, team physician Dr. Neal ElAttrache used his vast network in the medical community to locate a reputable doctor in Mexico to perform a physical examination.

White said the Dodgers aren’t looking for Puig to contribute in the majors this season. The plan is to let Puig play in Arizona with other Cuban players, including third-round draft pick Onelki Garcia, and let Puig take his time adjusting to life in the United States.

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