LOS ANGELES -- The on-and-off relationship between the Dodgers and Alexander Guerrero appears to be on again, as the team has agreed to a four-year contract with the Cuban infielder worth $28 million, per both Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com and Jon Heyman of CBS Sports.
Both Sanchez and Heyman report that Guerrero can earn up to $4 million in performance bonuses, bringing the potential total value of the deal to $32 million. Sanchez says the bonuses are up to $1 million in each year of the contract, based on plate appearances. Heyman reported the contract includes a $10 million signing bonus.
General manager Ned Colletti said on Monday that a deal hasn't yet been finalized.
"We're very close on that. Hopefully we'll have something by the end of the day," Colletti said.
There were reports in September that the Dodgers were "closing in" on a seven-year, $32 million contract with Guerrero, but no deal was ever official and he eventually switched agents to Scott Boras. In September Boras, as he does, said the market for Guerrero was "wide open."
In the end the agent switch worked for Guerrero, who got nearly the same money in three fewer seasons.
What the Dodgers reportedly get now is an offensive-first second baseman. Per Ben Badler at Baseball America in July:
"Several teams aren’t convinced he has the ability to either reach the majors or stick there as an everyday player, but whatever team signs him will probably see him as an offensive-oriented second baseman."
"[Head of international scouting] Bob Engel was the lead scout on Alexander, and thinks he can play, if not right away, then very soon thereafter. He hasn't played of late, somewhat like Puig, and somewhat different than Ryu," Colletti said. "He's a big league player. He's a big league infielder that's got versatility to him as far as the positions he can play. He's an offensive player."
The Guerrero signing takes the Dodgers out of the Robinson Cano sweepstakes, a bidding war the team was likely never in anyway. It also likely means the $5.75 million club option of Mark Ellis, the starter at second base for the last two seasons, will be declined, with the Dodgers instead paying the soon-to-be 37-year-old a $1 million buyout.
"I think Ellis still has value to this organization, with or without Guerrero," Colletti said.