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The Los Angeles Dodgers are adding another promising Cuban, having agreed on a four-year, $28 million deal with middle infielder Alexander Guerrero, MLB.com has reported, citing industry sources.
Asked about the report in a news conference Monday afternoon, Dodgers general manager Ned Colletti said the team was "very close" to finalizing the deal for Guerrero, adding that it could be completed by the end of Monday.
The Dodgers have been working to come to an agreement with the Cuban defector since early last month.
Guerrero, 26, can play shortstop and second base and was a two-time All-Star in Cuba's Serie Nacional, the top league on the island. He defected earlier this year, established residency in Haiti and was training in the Dominican Republic, where he tried out at the Dodgers' Dominican complex.
The Dodgers top international scout, Bob Engle, told Colletti that Guerrero could be ready to play second base as early as next season.
"He's a big league player," Colletti said, "He's a big league infielder that has versatility to him, as far as positions he can play, and also he's an offensive force."
Guerrero was granted free agency in July but was not unblocked by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control until Friday.
The 5-foot-11, 205-pound Guerrero likely will enter spring training as the favorite to be the Dodgers' every-day second baseman next season.
The deal with Guerrero makes it likely the Dodgers will decline the $5.75 million option on second baseman Mark Ellis, one of the top defensive second basemen in the game, triggering a $1 million buyout.
Shortly after the Dodgers' season ended, Ellis, 36, said he was unsure of his situation with the Dodgers, but that he wanted to continue playing.
The Dodgers signed Yasiel Puig for seven years and $42 million in June 2012.
Information from ESPNLosAngeles.com's Mark Saxon was used in this report.