With the largest payroll in baseball, the Los Angeles Dodgers have one glaring weakness: second base. Cuban infielder Alexander Guerrero signed back in October with hopes of becoming the everyday second baseman in 2014, but injuries during winter ball have slowed his progress.
Guerrero, 26, is a natural shortstop who’s trying to learn a new position, but just hasn’t gotten the at-bats and repetition for the Dodgers to feel comfortable handing him the job. In his latest piece on Dodgers.com, Ken Gurnick tackled the question about whether or not he’s ready and gave this answer:
As of the Winter Meetings, the answer was no. But he still had some winter ball ahead of him, plus a January of tutoring and Spring Training. If he still isn’t ready to handle second base by Opening Day, he’ll go the Puig route and head to Double-A until he’s ready.
In the first year of his $28 million contract, the Dodgers are able to send him down to the minors without his consent. More offensive minded, Guerrero should see his bat translate to the big league level as he’s been compared to the likes of Dan Uggla and Ian Kinsler.
After making four signings official, Chris Perez, Juan Uribe, J.P. Howell and Jamey Wright on Tuesday, Dodgers GM Ned Colletti said the team was “pretty much done” adding pieces, but did say a backup infielder is a possibility.
Names like Ramon Santiago, Chris Getz, Justin Turner and Alexi Casilla have all been mentioned by some as good fits for that role. As it stands right now, Dee Gordon would be the utility infielder, which may or may not scare the Dodgers.
Regardless, Guerrero will likely head to Arizona after the New Year and begin training with Dodgers coaches in Arizona so they can gain an understanding of where he is in transitioning to second base.
ICYMI: The Dodgers signed reliever Chris Perez to a one-year deal