The Los Angeles Dodgers have suspended shortstop Erisbel Arruebarrena for the remainder of the season, per Tulsa World's Barry Lewis. According to Dodgers' director of player development Gabe Kapler, the suspension is the result of Arruebarrena's "repeated failure to comply with the terms of his contract."
The 26-year-old is no stranger to confrontation with Dodgers' brass. Arruebarrena was handed a suspension last May due to a similarly vague non-compliance issue, however, the ban was later reduced to 30 games following an appeal to the commissioner's office.
The Dodgers signed Arruebarrena out of Cuba to a five-year, $25 million contract prior to the 2014 season, however, the investment has failed to pay dividends. He made a few brief cameos with Los Angeles during the 2014 season, cumulatively hitting .195/.244/.220 in 45 plate appearances over 22 games. But Arruebarrena has yet to make it back to the majors, which would seemingly be difficult to do when you've upset your organization enough to garner an internal suspension.
It's funny - Erisbel Arruebarrena never gets released because he'll do something to merit an unpaid suspension every year.— Dan Szymborski (@DSzymborski) May 4, 2016
Touted for his exceptional glove coming out of Cuba, where he spent six seasons with Cienfuegos (he was teammates with both Yasiel Puig and Jose Abreu for a period), Arruebarrena has been generally seen as an offensive liability. However, Arruebarrena was surprisingly productive with the bat last season, notching a .299/.337/.418 line in 205 plate appearances across three levels. In 17 games with Double-A Tulsa this year, he has hit .182/.224/.400.
Under contract through 2018, Arruebarrena is due $4 million this year and next (he's likely to lose a good chuck of his 2016 salary), and $5 million in 2018. But at this point, it's difficult to envision Arruebarrena playing a role with the Dodgers anytime soon. Despite his salary, he's not on the 40-man roster, and the Dodgers are chock-full of middle infield talent. Corey Seager is likely entrenched at shortstop for the foreseeable future, and Arruebarrena still likely falls behind at least Chase Utley, Howie Kendrick, Enrique Hernandez, and Micah Johnson on the middle infield depth chart.
The suspension seemingly clouds an already muddled future.