Signed to a four-year, $28 million contract in October of 2013, Alex Guerrero was expected to find success similar to that of Yasiel Puig and be the answer to the Los Angeles Dodgers’ need at second base heading into the 2014 season.
Guerrero hit .300/.400/.500 in 17 Spring Training games last year (30 at-bats), but didn’t flash enough of a glove at second base and lost out in the competition to Dee Gordon. One year later, and Guerrero’s status with the Dodgers is unknown.
He’s shown good potential with his bat, but it’s come with a subpar glove and as a result, there isn’t a clear-cut position for him. What is for certain is Guerrero has no interest in being sent to the Minors, according to Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com:
I don’t want to go down. I’m not going down. I feel like I can get better here at this level and play every day. I think that’s what every player wants. You want to be in the Major Leagues and play as much as you can.”
Guerrero has the power to reject the Dodgers’ attempt to option him to the Minors, a clause worked into his contract by oft-criticized agent Scott Boras. In coming from Cuba, Guerrero believes he’s learned plenty in the one year of playing baseball in the United States:
Last year for me was one where I gained a lot of experience, learned a lot of things I didn’t know or didn’t have any idea about,” Guerrero said. “Things like the style of play, different rules, and customs they use here in the United States. I am a lot more familiar now with the game here.”
Guerrero began the year with the Dodgers on their expanded roster for the Opening Series in Australia, but was quickly sent to the Minors once the team returned stateside and needed to revert back to a 25-man active roster.
Had he not been involved in the altercation with Miguel Olivo that resulted in a portion of his ear being bitten off followed by surgery and a lengthy recovery, Guerrero likely would have reached the Majors prior to being one of the September callups.
Guerrero appeared in 11 games with the Dodgers during the final month of the regular season, primarily serving a pinch-hitter. However, he also played 14 innings in left field across three games, none of which he started.
On top of the Dodgers being unsure of where to play Guerrero, they added plenty of depth to the organization during the offseason, which makes it more difficult to entertain keeping Guerrero on the bench when there appears to be other, more well-rounded options.