6:17pm: The two sides are nearing a five-year, $32MM contract according to the latest update from Sanchez (on Twitter).
2:46pm: The Dodgers and Cuban infield prospect Alexander Guerrero are closing in a multi-year deal worth $32MM, industry sources tell Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com. The deal is expected to be between five and seven years and an official announcement is expected this week.
Guerrero probably projects as a second baseman in the majors since his range and first-step quickness aren't strong enough to stick at shortstop, according to Ben Badler of Baseball America (subscription required). The offensive-oriented infielder doesn't figure to be a premium talent, but his raw right-handed power has impressed clubs.
The Twins, Red Sox, and Braves have also been in the mix for Guerrero, but the Dodgers have long been the favorites to sign him. The 26-year-old also garnered interest from the Reds along the way, but it's not clear how serious they were or if they were still in the mix towards the end.
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 inflated offensive numbers. Badler says that Guerrero is likely ticketed for Double-A or Triple-A to start out.
Guerrero was cleared to sign with Major League Teams by the United States Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC) over the weekend. He defected from his native Cuba in January and has been a known quanitty for some time, so the Dodgers were quick to strike a deal once it was possible.
It remains to be seen what impact, if any, the signing will have on the Dodgers' pursuit of a second baseman this winter. Of course, the Dodgers are viewed as the biggest threat to sign Robinson Cano away from the Yankees over the offseason.