Dodgers sign Cuban Infielder Alexander Guerrero to 4-year Deal

The Dodgers keep reaching their long, rich arm all the way to Cuba to strike gold. Yasiel Puig saved Donnie Baseball’s job and led the Dodgers to an NLCS run. Today, they signed Alexander Guerrero to a four-year contract worth $28 million.

Here’s a snippet of the scouting report done by our good friend Mike Rosenbaum of B/R’s Prospect Pipeline. You’ll want to click that link to see videos and more in-depth reporting on Guerrero.

Offense: Physically strong, right-handed hitter at 5’10”, 205 pounds; employs a crouched stance with a wide base and starts with hands at eye level; toe-tap load allows him to utilize strong lower half; quiet stride; hits off a firm front side; above-average-to-plus bat speed thanks to strong wrists and forearms; easy, raw pop, especially to the pull side; gets the barrel to the ball and generates impressive extension after contact; tendency to wrap his bat and dip on the backside at times; has quick feet and moves well but won’t be a base stealer.

Defense: Average athleticism; still moves well despite thicker lower half; may lose a step as he ages; versatile and instinctual defender with quick hands and flashy glove; fast transfer and release; decent body control; actions are too stiff for clean projection at shortstop; average range and arm strength suggests a future at second base.

Sounds like an upgrade over the aging Mark Ellis when the time comes. Remember, take these scouting reports with a grain of salt until the guy steps onto Major League soil, you just never know. I think the kid will end up a pretty good offensive player for a middle infielder. The lead scout on Guerrero (Bob Engel) says he can play at the MLB level close to right away.

And on the same day, some interesting comments make their way out about the Dodgers handling of Yasiel Puig. Don Mattingly sure has been outspoken (and cranky) lately.

“Leave it to me, it’d be one way, but that’s not necessarily the way the organization wants things to go,” Mattingly said.

Hmm. I asked Mattingly how he would have handled Puig if it were strictly his call and, without going into much detail, he made it sound as if he would have left him in the minor leagues until he had a better understanding of the game. Puig played in just 63 minor-league games, never touching Triple-A, before he was called up on June 3.

“I’m not going to answer that, I just think there has to be a development system that we adhere to with Yasiel, along with all the other guys,” Mattingly said.

The Dodgers are clearly going for it all in this near-term window. Things are shaky in Dodgerland. It’s going to be one of the most interesting storylines as the 2014 season opens.