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Dodgers get Cuban star for record $42 million

LOS ANGELES — The Dodgers signed Cuban CF Yasiel Puig to a seven-year, $42 million deal on Friday. It's the majors' biggest deal ever given to a Cuban defector and includes a $12 million signing bonus.

Puig, 21, who is waiting for a visa in Mexico City, will get half of his signing bonus within 30 days after he reports to the Dodgers' camp in Glendale, Ariz., and his contract is approved by Major League Baseball. (There is no timetable for either.) The other half is payable Jan. 15.

CF Yoenis Cespedes' four-year, $36 million deal with Oakland signed in February was the previous record for a Cuban defector. OF Jorge Soler got a nine-year, $30 million deal from the Cubs this month.

The Dodgers outbid the Cubs and White Sox, the Associated Press reported.

Puig has rarely played outside Cuba. He excelled with Cienfuegos of the Cuban league during the 2010-11 season, batting .330 with 17 homers, 47 RBIs and a .430 on-base percentage in 327 at-bats.

The 6-foot-3 slugger sat out last season for disciplinary reasons. Cuban officials did not disclose details, but Puig has made several attempts to defect and recently established residency in Mexico.

"Yasiel is a fantastic kid with an infectious personality, and we think he has the tools to be a front-line player in the major leagues," said Logan White, the Dodgers' assistant GM in charge of scouting. "He is very physical and athletic with raw power. He can hit it a long way. On top of that, he has a good arm and is an above-average runner."

D'back cycles again: Arizona 2B Aaron Hill doubled, singled, homered and tripled in his first four at-bats to become the first player to hit for the cycle twice in one season since Babe Herman of the Brooklyn Robins (now Dodgers) in 1931. Hill also did it on June 18.

Milestones: Yankees SS Derek Jeter doubled in the first for his 3,185th hit, breaking a tie for 14th with Hall of Famer Cal Ripken. Hall of Famer Nap Lajoie is 13th with 3,242 hits, 57 more than Jeter, 38. … Cardinals RF Carlos Beltran singled in the third for his 2,000th hit. Earlier this season, Beltran, 35, became the first switch-hitter with 300 homers and 300 stolen bases.

A's: RHP Tyson Ross was sent to Triple A a day after he lost his fifth straight decision.

Astros: 2B Jose Altuve missed his fifth straight game because of a sore right hamstring.

Cardinals: RHP Chris Carpenter has resumed a throwing program after recovering from a compressed nerve in his shoulder. But GM John Mozeliak said it's too early to tell if the 2005 Cy Young winner, 37, will pitch this season.

Cubs: RHP Ryan Dempster, on the DL with a lat injury, played catch and hopes to throw off the mound this weekend. His return remains undetermined. … RHP Randy Wells, designated for assignment this week, cleared waivers and was sent to Triple A.

Giants: RHP Brad Penny was called up to replace Shane Loux, who went on the DL after straining his neck during a workout. Penny, 34, 119-99 over 12 seasons, started the year in Japan but was released after one start. He signed a minor-league deal May 18.

Mariners: CF Franklin Gutierrez went on the seven-day concussion DL a day after a pickoff throw hit him in the face. He stayed overnight at a Seattle hospital then went home Friday.

Rangers: RH reliever Mark Lowe went on the DL with a strained muscle on his right side. … OF Jake Skole, the 15th overall pick in 2010, was suspended 50 games for testing positive for an undisclosed performance-enhancing substance. Skole, 20, is playing at Class A.

Twins: C/DH Ryan Doumit agreed to a two-year extension worth $7 million. Doumit, 32, is hitting .271 with seven homers and 32 RBIs in his eighth season (first with the Twins).

White Sox: RH reliever Brian Bruney went on the DL with inflammation in his left hip. He had appeared in only one game since being called up Sunday.

Dodgers get Cuban star for record $42 million 06/29/12 [Last modified: Friday, June 29, 2012 11:20pm]
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