The move brings to an end what will go down as a disappointing tenure for Guerrero, who signed a four-year, $28MM contract with the Dodgers back in 2013 on the heels of some impressive numbers in Cuba. Playing for los Lenadores de las Tunas, Guerrero compiled a lifetime .303/.386/.528 batting line across 2257 plate appearances in Cuba’s Serie Nacional. He’s delivered similarly impressive numbers in his brief minor league career, most notably slashing .323/.357/.598 in 266 PAs at the Triple-A level.
However, the 29-year-old Guerrero has struggled with big league pitching, hitting just .224/.251/.414 in 243 PAs, and he’s had even greater struggles on the defensive end of the game. Guerrero was primarily a shortstop while playing in Cuba, though he did see a couple hundred innings at second base as well. Even at the time of his signing, there was doubt as to whether he’d be able to handle shortstop in the Majors, and the Dodgers only gave him 47 innings at the position in the minors. He never saw action at shortstop in the Majors, spending the entirety of his time at third base and in left field while drawing mostly negative marks in the eyes of defensive metrics.
Guerrero didn’t see much in the way of regular at-bats with the Dodgers, and his time in the minors was even slowed somewhat by a bizarre incident in which teammate Miguel Olivo bit off a portion of his ear in a dugout altercation. A left knee injury prevented him from taking the field for the majority of the 2016 season, and he batted just .136/.162/.197 in 68 PAs during a recent minor league rehab assignment.
Guerrero will now be available to any club that wishes to take a chance on his production in Cuba and in Triple-A. The Dodgers are on the hook for the remainder of this season’s $5MM salary and the $5MM salary he’ll take home in 2016 as well, so he’d be available for the pro-rated portion of the league minimum.