Dodgers nearing deal with Alexander Guererro


May 8, 2013; Los Angeles, CA, USA; Los Angeles Galaxy forward Gyasi Zardes poses with the Los Angeles Dodgers logo on the field at Dodger Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The fat walleted Dodgers have struck again as’s Jesse Sanchez reports that Los Angeles and Cuban infielder Alexander Guerrero are very close on a five year 32 million dollar contract.

Guerrero, 26, defected in January but the US government only cleared him to sign with a club this past weekend. While he played shortstop in Cuba, his 5’11, 205 pound frame limits his range and quickness, and will likely force him to move over to second base in the big leagues. Although he may not amount to his Cuban contemporaries, Yaseil Puig or Yoenis Cespedes, at the plate, Guerrero can still rake. Because of the Cuban’s league uneven level of play (a hitter can face Aroldis Chapman one day and a pudgy 46 year old soft tosser the next), stats are not inherently indicative of major league success. They are, however, not meaningless and the Dodgers new prospect tore the island apart. He hit .340 between 2009 and 2010, and knocked out over 20 home runs each of the past two seasons, all whilst playing shortstop, a position that generally attracts slap hitting speedsters.

The Dodger’s recent success with Cuban outfielder, and rookie of the year candidate, Yaseil Puig surely provided an impetus for this signing. More talent is pouring out of Havannah harbor than ever before, and with the Dodger’s GM Ned Colletti seemingly possessing an infinitely large wallet, Los Angeles seems intent on hoarding as much of it as possible. It will be tough for Guerrero to even come close to matching Puig’s early career accomplishments, but the two time Cuban all star has at least the potential to be an above average big league regular.

It is interesting to see how this signing will impact the Jose Abreu sweepstakes. After defecting from Cuba last month, Abreu gained notoriety for his last preternatural power as the 6’6 240 pound first baseman repeatedly broke the Cuban home run record while posting slugging percentages over .800. The success led experts such as journalist Jeff Passan and super agent Scott Boras to predict that Abreu would break Yaseil Puig’s record 42 million dollar contract, and receive a bid worth up 60 million. Considering that Guerrero managed to get more than half of that while defecting with, by contrast, almost no fanfare, the predictions no longer seem so far off.