Dodgers add Cuban IF Guerrero
The Los Angeles Dodgers added another promising Cuban player Tuesday, agreeing to a four-year deal with middle infielder Alexander Guerrero.
The deal, which will pay Guerrero at least $28 million, means he likely will begin next season as the team's every-day second baseman.
The Dodgers had been working to come to an agreement with the Cuban defector since early last month, but the process was briefly stalled after he switched agents, signing with the Scott Boras agency.
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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.
Bonuses could increase the value of Guerrero's contract. The deal calls for a $10 million signing bonus payable upon approval of the contract by Major League Baseball. Guerrero would earn $4 million in both 2014 and 2015, and $5 million in both 2016 and 2017. There is $1 million per year in performance bonuses, based on 500 to 600 plate appearances.
He also will be eligible for free agency after his age-30 season, and he cannot be optioned to the minor leagues without his permission. The Dodgers agreed to similar terms with another international Boras client, Hyun-Jin Ryu.
The Dodgers' top international scout, Bob Engle, told general manager Ned 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, 5-foot-11, 205 pounds, was granted free agency in July but was not unblocked by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control until Friday.
To make room for Guerrero, the Dodgers designated righty Peter Moylan for assignment.
When he reaches the major leagues, Guerrero will be the 10th Cuban national to have played for the Dodgers.
Information from ESPNLosAngeles.com's Mark Saxon and The Associated Press was used in this report.