Alexander Guerrero Rumors
3:43pm: The Dodgers are no longer willing to pay Guerrero $32MM and may not pursue him at all, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports. Rosenthal notes that the team's position may merely be strategic; they could be backing off that number simply so Boras doesn't use that as a baseline when negotiating with other clubs.
3:15pm: Just over a week ago, it seemed that Cuban infielder Alexander Guerrero was close to signing a five-year, $32MM contract with the Dodgers. SInce that time, however, the 26-year-old has left his former agent, Rudy Santin, in favor of the Boras Corporation. Boras described the bidding as "wide open," writes Jon Heyman of CBS Sports, who reports that the Red Sox, Reds, Rangers and Giants all have interest in Guerrero and are fighting the Dodgers for his services.
MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez tweeted yesterday that Sanchez is looking for an overall better deal than the previously rumored agreement. Dodgers GM Ned Colletti wouldn't comment when asked by Heyman about the situation, stating that he wouldn't publicly discusss contract negotiations.
The Rangers seem a curious fit for Guerrero, with Elvis Andrus, Ian Kinsler and Jurickson Profar all already in the fold. The Reds would have to use him at shortstop or perhaps third base due to the presence of Brandon Phillips, despite the fact that many scouts have predicted Guerrero will have to transition to second base to play in the Majors. Boston has Dustin Pedroia at second base, and Xander Bogaerts projects as their long-term answer at shortstop. The Giants, too, are a curious fit with Marco Scutaro under contract, Brandon Crawford at short and Pablo Sandoval at third base.
Guerrero hit .290/.402/.576 with 21 home runs in 328 plate appearances in his final season inSerie Nacional. As Matthew Pouliot of NBC Sports pointed out last January, Guerrero OPSed .997 or better each year in Cuba from 2009-11. Heyman points out that Guerrero could have an impact on Robinson Cano's market this offseason if bidding drags on and teams believe Guerrero to be superior to other second base options, as Guerrero will naturally be more affordable than Cano.
Cuban infielder Alexander Guerrero has joined the Boras Corporation and is now entertaining offers from all 30 Major League teams with Boras leading negotiations, according to MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez (Twitter link).
The Dodgers were said to be closing in on a five-year, $32MM contract with the 26-year-old Guerrero as recently as last week, once the right-handed swinger was cleared to sign with Major League teams by the United States Office of Foreign Assets Control. It's unclear if that offer still stands at this time, or if the Dodgers are even still considered the front-runners.
Guerrero also drew interest from the Twins, Reds and Braves in the weeks leading up to his signing. He's played mostly shortstop in Cuba's Serie Nacional, but most scouts expect him to have to transition to second base for defensive purposes in order to stick at the Major League level. Right-handed power is Guerrero's biggest tool, as Ben Badler of Baseball America pointed out in a subscription-only scouting report earlier in the summer.
Guerrero hit .290/.402/.576 with 21 home runs in 328 plate appearances in his final season in Serie Nacional. As Matthew Pouliot of NBC Sports pointed out last January, Guerrero OPSed .997 or better each year in Cuba from 2009-11. Because he is older than 23 and has more than three years of professional experience, Guerrero won't count against a signing team's international bonus pool.
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.
Cuban infielder Alexander Guerrero has been cleared to sign with Major League Teams by the United States Office of Foreign Assets Control (OFAC), Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN reported over the weekend (Twitter link). Dionisio Soldevila of ESPN Deportes agrees, adding that an official signing could come at any minute (also via Twitter).
Guerrero has been most heavily connected to the Dodgers, though initial reports that the two sides had agreed to a seven-year pact were premature. The 26-year-old has also been connected to the Twins and Braves over the past six weeks. In his tweet above, however, Wolfson doubts that the Twins will be the team to ultimately sign Guerrero. Soldevila adds, in a separate tweet, that the Dodgers are still the favorite.
As Ben Badler of Baseball America pointed out in a subscription-only scouting report in early August, interested parties likely view Guerrero as an offensive-oriented second baseman. Questions about his range and first-step quickness will likely prevent him from sticking at shortstop in the Majors, according to Badler, who added that raw right-handed power was Guerrero's best tool.
Many international players have generated quite a bit of buzz, which should lead to some hefty paydays when they become available to Major League clubs via free agency. Jose Dariel Abreu, Alexander Guerrero and Masahiro Tanaka are just some of the big names that could jump to the Majors next year. Here's the latest on the international market, with updates on each of those three...
- The Mets signed Dominican outfielder Ricardo Cespedes for a $725K bonus on his 16th birthday over the weekend, Baseball America's Ben Badler reported. Badler writes that Cespedes has a good, loose swing and a nice gap-to-gap approach with the speed to start his pro career as a center fielder. As Badler notes, the Mets have spent a total of $2.465MM, so they still have some room in their $3.025MM international bonus pool.
- In a subscription-only piece, Badler also profiles Tanaka's most recent start in Japan, during which he whiffed eight hitters over seven scoreless innings to improve to 18-0 and drop his ERA to 1.15. Badler notes that Tanaka has "arguably the best splitter in the world," and reached 97 mph with his heater on his 108th pitch of the night. Tanaka would have to be posted by the Rakuten Golden Eagles to make the jump to MLB.
- Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN reports that Abreu's lofty price tag will likely lead the Twins to "loosely monitor" him rather than become serious players for his services. He adds that the Twins are still in on Guerrero but not as deeply as other suitors (Twitter links).
8:42pm: David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution (Twitter link) confirms that the Braves have indeed evaluated Guerrero and would be "interested if [the] price is right." Since Andrelton Simmons is already locked in at shortstop, the Braves would move Guerrero to second or third base.
7:34pm: The Red Sox are not one of the finalists for Guerrero's services, Yahoo Sports' Tim Brown reports (via Twitter).
6:50pm: The market for Cuban shortstop Alexander Guerrero is down to four teams, according to Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN (Twitter links). The Dodgers, Twins, Red Sox and Braves are the clubs still in the mix to sign the 26-year-old. The Reds have also checked in on Guerrero, though they might not be (or are no longer be) a serious contender since Wolfson didn't include them in his first group.
The Dodgers and Twins had previously been cited as two of the then-three clubs known to be interested in Guerrero, and agent Rudy Santin denied reports that his client already had a seven-year deal in place with Los Angeles. Guerrero defected from Cuba in January and is still waiting to be unblocked by the U.S. government before he can pursue a contract with a Major League team.
Paul Konerko could draw interest from the Orioles, who tried to acquire another right-handed bat at the deadline, Rich Dubroff of CSNBaltimore.com opines. Konerko considered signing with the O's after the 2005 season, according to Dubroff, who says the 37-year-old could fill the club's DH slot. Though he's hitting just .243/.306/.359, Baltimore would prefer Konerko over a reunion with Mark Reynolds, Dubroff says. Here's more from around baseball..
- Rangers starter Matt Harrison's back issues will cause him to miss the remainder of the season, Anthony Andro of FOX Sports Southwest tweets. Harrison, 27, underwent surgery to repair a herniated disk in April. The Rangers were targeting a September return for the left-hander, but his back "isn't strong enough," according to Andro.
- Bill Ladson of MLB.com ran down the Nationals that might not return to the club in 2014. The list starts with non-tender Roger Bernadina and one talent evaluator tells Ladson that GM Mike Rizzo has never been a fan of his.
- Cuban prospect Alexander Guerrero is still waiting to be unblocked by the U.S. Government and cannot enter into a contract until that happens, tweets Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com. The infielder has three teams vying for him including the Twins and the Dodgers, who are believed to be the favorites.
- The Twins placed Justin Morneau on waivers, but manager Ron Gardenhire doesn't think that it'll hurt the veteran's play, writes MLB.com's Rhett Bollinger. "It just gets out there," Gardenhire said. "There's so many people getting run through waivers now. It's just part of the year here. We understand that this was probably going to happen. It happens to pretty much all our players and everybody else's players."
Aaron Steen contributed to this post.
August 3: The Twins are among the clubs interested in Guerrero, reports Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN (via Twitter). "We like him," said Twins VP Mike Radcliff. "We're still watching him." Wolfson names the Dodgers as the continuing favorites to land Guerrero.
Guerrero reportedly possesses good power but profiles more as a second baseman at the big league level, according to Baseball America (subscription required).
July 23: Despite reports out of the Dominican Republic earlier today that Cuban shortstop Alexander Guerrero had agreed to a seven-year deal with the Dodgers, Guerrero's agent Rudy Santin tells MLB.com's Jesse Sanchez that no such thing is true. Three teams are still in the mix for Guerrero, who has yet to be unblocked by the United States Office of Foreign Assets Control, and no agreement is in place with any of the interested parties.
The Dodgers are indeed one of at least three teams interested in Guerrero, and Santin says at least one of the interested suitors is an AL club. Guerrero will host a showcase for scouts on Wednesday in the Dominican Republic and play in a game Thursday.
Guerrero reportedly defected from Cuba in January, as noted at the time by Matthew Pouliot of NBC Sports. The 26-year-old OPSed .997 or better each year in Cuba from 2009-11. It's unclear if there's any connection, but surprise reports earlier this morning said that the Dodgers were out of the running for prized Cuban right-hander Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez. This is just my speculation, but perhaps Dodgers GM Ned Colletti and his staff have shifted their focus to a position player due to their depth at starting pitcher.