The Los Angeles Dodgers’ on again and off again courtship with Cuban infielder Alexander Guerrero has been a roller coaster as the team has repeatedly been rumored as close to a deal, but then he went back on the market. Multiple credible sources, including Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com and Jon Heyman of cbssports.com, have confirmed a recent twist in the seemingly endless saga.
Eric Stephen, of truebluela.com, reports that Guerrero supposedly signed a four-year, $28 million deal with the Dodgers that would likely signal the end of the Dodgers’ relationship with current second baseman, Mark Ellis. The veteran infielder will turn 37 in June and despite hitting .270 in 2013, was one of the weaker links in the Dodgers’ offensive lineup.
The hope is that Guerrero will be able to come in and fill Ellis’ spot. The Dodgers have a 2014 option on Ellis’ contract, but would rather not spend $5.75 million on an aging veteran. According to Baseball Prospectus, the Dodgers have a $1 million buyout option for Ellis and the team’s management will almost certainly sacrifice that drop in the bucket for the chance at the 26-year-old, offensive-minded Cuban.
Ellis was a solid contributor to the Dodgers and certainly aided the team in making their run to the 2013 NLCS. Nevertheless, his age and offensive mediocrity are enough to sacrifice his solid glove for a shiny, new toy.
Although the Dodgers will greatly miss Ellis’ contribution and veteran leadership, the team is making the right choice in upgrading to a young, potential star. Dodgers fans, meet Alexander Guerrero, the future of the Dodgers’ middle infield. Yasiel Puig will undoubtedly be excited to have another Cuban join him as the two lead the charge of the young talent.