The Dodgers are close to signing 26-year-old Cuban shortstop/second baseman Alexander Guerrero, according to Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com and Peter Gammons of Gammons Daily. Sanchez puts the deal at 5 years/$32 million, while Gammons says the deal is for $30 million. Sanchez also adds that the deal is not yet final but is near completion.
— Jesse Sanchez (@JesseSanchezMLB) September 9, 2013
Back in July it was said that Guerrero had signed with the Dodgers for 7 years and $32 million but were waiting on paperwork to go through. A week later, though, it was said the Dodgers’ offer was topped by another team and the alleged handshake agreement went away.
Guerrero defected from Cuba at the start of 2013 and has been waiting for paperwork to clear ever since. That paperwork was finalized earlier yesterday, according to Darren Wolfson of ESPN 1500 in Minnesota and Dionisio Soldevilla of ESPN Deportes.
Word is Cuban FA SS Alexander Guerrero has clearance from the U.S. gov't. Could announce where he's signing mid-next week. Doubt #MNTwins.
— Darren Wolfson (@DarrenWolfson) September 6, 2013
Cuban IF Alexander Guerrero has been cleared by OFAC. His signing will be made official any minute now
— Dionisio Soldevila (@dSoldevila) September 9, 2013
The optimistic projection of Guerrero is as an offense-first second baseman, according to Ben Badler of Baseball America, who has an entire scouting report up that you should go read.
Once Guerrero signs, he will likely go to Double-A or Triple-A, with the hope that he can get to the major leagues quickly. Several teams aren’t convinced he has the ability to either reach the majors or stick there as an everyday player, but whatever team signs him will probably see him as an offensive-oriented second baseman.
Also, here’s video of him in action:
Along with the thoughts of his agent:
Assuming he’s as good as the Dodgers think, Guerrero fits perfect with the club at second base with Mark Ellis a free agent (and old) and no viable replacement in the minor-league pipeline. A double play combination of him and Hanley Ramirez might be a bit frightening for pitchers, but if they can both rake, it’ll be forgivable.