Cuban outfielder Yasiel Puig will likely stick around with the Los Angeles Dodgers for seven-years after agreeing on Thursday to a $42 million contract.
The contract is pending a full physical exam. Once completed Puig would be the highest paid Cuban defector of all time, passing a four-year $36 million contract for Oakland Athletics outfield Yoenis Céspedes which was announced in February
According to a source close to the deal:
“Puig’s contract with the Dodgers should be completed by Friday. The young man could play in the major leagues this year, maybe in time to help with the race for the playoffs or the World Series.”
The contract does include some clauses that could allow Puig to become a free agent after four years of play.
Yasiel Puig thanks to new rules regulating the hiring of Cuban ballplayers will not have to be unblocked by the Office of Foreign Assets Control.
At 21-years-old Puig batted .330 with 17 home runs, 47 RBIs and 78 runs in 327 at-bats with the Cienfuego Elefantes in the 2010-2011 Cuban National Series. In 46 at-bats during the playoffs he averaged a .370 batting average.
Puig enters the MLB with plenty of speed, he was considered the fastest player in Cuban baseball however he was left off the Cienfuegos team this season after he was caught trying to escape the country on several occasions before succeeding last month.
With contracts being handed out to defectors at a record rate it looks like Cuban could quickly become the new Dominican Republic of Major League Baseball recruiting.
This is what the Dodgers acquired: