The Los Angeles Dodgers have finalized a four-year contract with Cuban second baseman Alexander Guerrero that will pay him up to $28 million, according to MLB.com. Last month, there were rumors that Guerrero and the Dodgers were close on a contract, but it was eventually restructured.
Guerrero's contract with the Dodgers can max out at $32 million according to a report from MLB.com. $10 million of Guerrero's contract will come in the form of a signing bonus, and the 26-year old cannot be assigned to the minor leagues without his permission over the life of the contract. Also, Guerrero will become a free agent when his contract expires as opposed to becoming eligible for arbitration while under the Dodgers' control.
Presumably, this contract will take Los Angeles out of the bidding for Yankees second baseman Robinson Cano, seemingly making a return to the Bronx inevitable for Cano. His signing also appears to spell the end of Mark Ellis' tenure with the Dodgers. Their 2013 starter at second base had a $5.75 million club option for 2014, but after he hit just .270/.323/.351, an upgrade was necessary.
Eno Sarris of Fangraphs wrote a piece on Guerrero, citing the relatively low replacement level at second base and making note of Guerrero's solid power at the dish. Sarris also cites the Clay Davenport translations for Cuban stats, which translates Guerrero's statline in 2011 to a .250/.322/.480 mark – very Dan Uggla-esque. It'll be interesting to see how he performs in the majors, but signing him is probably a better course of action than breaking the bank for Cano.