It is now official.
The Dodgers have just announced, via a press release, that they have just signed Cuban infielder Alexander Guerrero.
"We feel Alexander can be an offensive infielder and a solid everyday player," said Dodger General Manager Ned Colletti. "We're looking forward to him competing for a middle infield position and becoming a key contributor in 2014."See my post from yesterday that shared some of the contract details that had leaked thus far, here.
"We've watched a lot of Alexander at the international level," said Dodger Vice President, International Scouting Bob Engle. "It's been a true organizational effort to bring him aboard."
Guerrero, 26, played seven professional seasons for Las Tunas in the Cuban National Series from 2005-2012, earning three All-Star selections. During his final four seasons playing professionally, Guerrero never batted below .290, including posting a career-high .343 average in 2009-2010, while posting an on-base percentage above .400 each year and hitting 81 home runs in 327 games.
In his final season in Cuba in 2011-12, Guerrero batted .290 with 21 home runs and 51 RBI in 80 games, including a .402 on-base percentage and a .576 slugging percentage. In the field, Guerrero committed just eight errors in 350 chances at shortstop, good for a .977 fielding percentage.
If the five-foot, 10-inch, 197-pound Guerrero reaches the Major Leagues, he will become the 10th native of Cuba in Dodger history, joining teammates Yasiel Puig and Onelki Garcia. In addition to Puig and Garcia, Danys Baez (2006), Camilo Pascual (1970), Zoilo Versalles (1968), Rene Valdes (1957), Chico Fernandez (1956), Sandy Amoros (1952-60) and Dolph Luque (1930-31) were all Cuban-born players to wear Dodger Blue. In 2013, 21 Cuban-born players appeared in a Major League game.
BTW, I had previously written two different post concerning the future whereabouts of this Cuban slugger. In one post, I made a brand new fantasy Baseball card in the event he should be a Dodger (that you can see above, on the left), and in another I made a childish little graphic that expressed my disdain for him and his agent should be sign elsewhere.
Anyway, since I already spent time making it I figured I'd show it below just for the giggles. In a way, the graphic still applies since he did end up getting a bit more juice with this recent contract.
* Please follow on twitter @ernestreyes *
* Like Dodgers Blue Heaven on facebook *
* Dodgers Blue Heaven home page *