Quote of the Day: Tommy Lasorda on Erisbel Arruebarrena

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The Dodgers recently signed Cuban infielder Erisbel Arruebarrena to a five-year, $25 million contract. The 23-year-old reported to Dodgers camp today and was presented with his jersey, as you’ll see in this picture that was posted to the team’s official Twitter account:

Now that’s how you make the most out of the available space on a uniform. Very impressive work.

Pronouncing (and spelling) Arruebarrena’s name correctly will certainly take some getting used to. According to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times, former Dodgers manager Tommy Lasorda may have put it best when he was introduced to the club’s newest signing today.

He was introduced Thursday to former manager Tom Lasorda, who asked him his name. When Arruebarrena told him, Lasorda replied in Spanish, “Muy dificil,” or “very difficult.”

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.