Dodgers agree to sign Cuban IF Alex Guerrero for $28 million
The Dodgers have made their first big splash of the offseason by agreeing to a deal worth $28 million over four years with Cuban infielder Alex Guerrero.
The Dodgers and Cuban infielder Alex Guerrero have agreed to a four-year contract worth $28 million, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com. The deal includes a $10 million signing bonus and another $4 million in performance bonuses.
Guerrero, 26, defected to the Dominican Republic earlier this year. Here is a snippet of a scouting report from Baseball America's Ben Badler:
Guerrero’s best tool is his righthanded power ... Guerrero takes an uppercut stroke and he loses his balance against breaking pitches. It’s a pull-oriented, swing-for-the-fences approach that scouts think he will have to change to hit quality pitching.
Since arriving in the Dominican Republic, Guerrero has shown improved speed with above-average times in the 60-yard dash, which is highly unusual for a 26-year-old to start running faster ... [Some] scouts think he can stay in the middle of the infield, although shortstop is probably out of the question. His hands and actions are playable but he doesn’t have the first-step quickness or range to play shortstop and he can be a bit stiff in the field. Second base could be an option for him and a team that likes him a lot will probably play him there.
Guerrero hit .290/.402/.576 with 21 home runs and more walks (39) than strikeouts (30) in 328 plate appearances during his final season in Cuba. Badler says he is likely to go to Double-A or Triple-A in hopes of reaching the majors quickly.
With Hanley Ramirez under contract next season and the team reportedly looking to sign him to an extension, it seems unlikely the Dodgers will pursue Robinson Cano as a free agent this winter. They could always play Hanley at third base, Guerrero at shortstop and Cano at second, but that's a little far-fetched. If Los Angeles hands out a huge contract this winter, it'll go to ace Clayton Kershaw.
The Giants, Red Sox, Reds and Rangers were also connected to Guerrero, according to Heyman.
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