The Los Angeles Dodgers made an important move Monday, signing Cuban infielder Alexander Guerrero to a four-year, $28 million contract. Guerrero was the second-best Cuban defector on the market and with the ability of Los Angeles being able to pick him up, it makes the free agent market even more interesting this winter.
The Dodgers signing Guerrero all but rules them out of the running for free agent second baseman Robinson Cano. Cano and the Dodgers have been linked because of Cano’s high asking price and because the Dodgers are willing to spend money to win championships, something that has not worked for them. Los Angeles’ signing of Guerrero shows that they are not pursuing Cano.
In Cuba’s top professional league, Serie Nacional, Guerrero batted .290/.402/.576 with 21 home runs. His power is being compared to that of Atlanta Braves second baseman Dan Uggla and if that is the case, he is just another threat in an already loaded Dodgers’ lineup. A healthy Dodgers lineup featuring Yasiel Puig, Matt Kemp, Hanley Ramirez, Adrian Gonzalez and now Guerrero will be extremely difficult to face.
Signing Guerrero does not guarantee a championship though. Los Angeles made it as far as the NLCS before being ousted by the St. Louis Cardinals. The Cardinals’ pitching stifled them and it will be even harder for every team to win a World Series from here on out.