The Los Angeles Dodgers are nearing a five-year, $32MM contract with top Cuban infield prospect Alexander Guerrero, according to the latest update from Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com. The official announcement should come within the next day or so.
The Dodgers have long been the favorites to sign him, dating back to July 23, when news broke that the Dodgers had signed Guerrero to a seven-year $32MM deal. That news was obviously a bit premature as the 26-year-old Cuban defector, has been in contact with the Dodgers for several months but an agreement couldn’t be finalized until he secured an unblocking license from the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control.
Guerrero is widely projected as a power hitting second baseman and could hit the majors sooner rather than later. He lacks range and that critical first-step quickness to be a solid shortstop defender. Guerrero is certainly an offense first kinda player, however, he isn’t considered a premium talent, but his raw right-handed power has been too impressive to ignore.
In his final season in Cuba, Guerrero hit .290/.402/.576 with 21 home runs in 328 plate appearances for Las Tunas. For the last five seasons, Guerrero has posted solid offensive numbers, though the Cuban league is known for over inflated offensive numbers. I could envision Guerrero’s journey to the Dodgers being very similar to Yasiel Puig. Assuming he does well in the minors it’s not out of the question to think Guerrero could be in the running to make the club next spring.
It remains to be seen what impact, if any, the signing will have on the Dodgers’ pursuit of a second baseman this winter. Strictly referring to one, Robinson Cano who is likely to be heavily targeted by the Los Angeles Dodgers this winter. Of course, stealing away one of the best players in the game is no easy task, especially when he plays for the New York Yankees. The good news is Scott Boras was told by Cano to go kick rocks after he jumped ship to Roc Nation Sports, owned by the prominent Jay-Z.