6:06pm: The Dodgers have now announced that Guerrero has indeed been designated for assignment.
2:44pm: The Dodgers are expected to designate utilityman Alex Guerrero for assignment, according to J.P. Hoornstra of the Los Angeles News Group (via Twitter), though the transaction remains unannounced. Guerrero’s rehab assignment for a knee injury is set to wrap up today, forcing the team to make a decision on his roster status.
Los Angeles has long been in a tight spot with the 29-year-old, whose international free agent contract allows him to reject an optional assignment. Plus, if he’s traded, Guerrero would be able to elect free agency in the winter following the deal, which limits his future control rights for potential trade partners.
There doesn’t appear to be much of a fit for Guerrero on the present L.A. roster. While he has seen MLB action in the corner outfield and third base, and spent most of his career in Cuba in the middle infield, he’s generally regarded as a subpar fielder. And the Dodgers already have plenty of versatile options settled in at those positions.
Guerrero has shown promise at times with the bat, though he faded after a hot start last year and ended up with a .233/.261/.434 slash and 11 home runs in 230 plate appearances. And he hasn’t helped himself with his recent performance. After tearing up the minors in his first trip through the system, Guerrero owns a meager .136/.162/.197 batting line in his 68 plate appearances on his rehab stint this season.
With little in the way of future value, not much of a track record, a lack of a clear defensive position, and a relatively hefty $5MM salary, it’s not difficult to see why other organizations haven’t jumped at the chance to add Guerrero. Ultimately, it seems that the Dodgers will have little to show for the $28MM they guaranteed him back in October of 2013. The club has also struck out thus far on Erisbel Arruebarrena, a fellow Cuban signed just months later to a $25MM deal. Of course, the Dodgers have been far more successful with several other large international expenditures.