The Dodgers have finally agreed to a deal with free agent Cuban SS/2B Alexander Guerrero on a 4-year/$28 million contract, according to Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com. Sanchez also reports that there are performance escalators in the deal of $1 million per season that can take the total value to $32 million. $10 million of the contract is in the signing bonus, according to Jon Heyman of CBS Sports. Also, after the first year of the deal, Guerrero is out of options and he will not be arbitration-eligible after the contract is up, according to Dylan Hernandez of the Los Angeles Times.
So the deal is not yet final, but it appears done, though I could forgive you if you don’t believe it considering that he was rumored to be headed for a 7-year/$32 million contract and then a ~$30 million deal later on. However, this deal is being reported by basically everybody, and the finer details have begun to come out, so it’s safe to say he’ll be with the Dodgers shortly.
According to scouts, Guerrero profiles best as an offense-first second baseman, though he’ll be a converted shortstop so hopefully that helps his defensive profile. In his 2011-12 season in Cuba, his last, he hit .290/.402/.576/.978 with a 30/39 K/BB ratio. There’s not much info out now that I haven’t covered before, but Ben Badler of Baseball America gave a summary on Guerrero:
At 5-foot-10, 200 pounds, the righthanded-hitting Guerrero has been one of the top offensive players in the league for the last five seasons and has plus raw power, although scouts have questions about whether the power will translate. Those highest on Guerrero see him as a power-hitting second baseman, while others question whether his hitting will play against major league pitching. Guerrero was never a stolen base threat in Cuba, but he has revamped his body since arriving in the Dominican Republic, increasing his speed and his power. Several teams saw him as a fringe-level big leaguer.
Full scouting report here, if you subscribe.
In the coming days/weeks, you’ll likely hear reports about how good or bad Guerrero is, but I’m not going to worry about them until I actually see him in Spring Training. Remember, reports on Yasiel Puig and other Cubans were too positive/too negative as well, and in Puig’s case, nobody had any idea what the Dodgers were doing. So just be aware of all that while the speculation rolls in.
On that note, I’ve seen the Davenport Translations, and while I respect the process, I don’t see anything there that should necessarily be considered predictive. Guerrero comes out at either .286/.338/.473/.811 or .250/.322/.480/.802, which bodes well but means little to me. Either way, fans need to hope he pans out because this probably marks the end for both Mark Ellis as a Dodger and Robinson Cano‘s pursuit by the Dodgers.
Cano was likely never a serious target, as his gigantic demands would rival Clayton Kershaw‘s, but Ellis’ $5.75 million option was a legit possibility, as he would have been counted as a bargain by his 2013 production. However, that $1 million buyout is all but done now, I assume that primarily because the team believes Guerrero is an upgrade.