It’s Lucky No. 7, of sorts, for Yasiel Puig…
The 21-year-old Cuban outfielder has reportedly reached agreement on a seven-year, $42 million contract with the Los Angeles Dodgers, according to ESPNdeportesLosAngeles.com.
Puig’s agreement is pending a physical exam, and would be the largest dollar figure accorded a Cuban defector, surpassing the four-year, $36 million deal Oakland Athletics outfielder Yoenis Céspedes received in February.
“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,” said the source, who added that the agreement includes some clauses that could permit Puig to become a free agent after his fourth year.
Under the new rules that regulate the hiring of Cuban ballplayers, upon receiving permanent residency — known as FM2 in Mexico — Puig will not need to be unblocked by the Office of Foreign Assets Control, the agency of the U.S. Department of the Treasury that enforces the sanctions of the United States’ embargo against Cuba.
Puig batted .330 with 17 home runs, 47 RBIs and 78 runs scored in 327 at-bats with the Cienfuegos Elefantes in the 2010-11 Cuban National Series. He averaged .370 in 46 at-bats in the playoffs.
Puig, once considered the fastest player in Cuban baseball, was left off the Cienfuegos team for the 2011-12 season after having been caught on several occasions trying to escape the country. He finally succeeded in defecting last month and established residency in Mexico.
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