Guerrero with the Los Angeles Dodgers
|Left fielder / Third baseman|
November 20, 1986 |
Las Tunas, Cuba
|March 22, 2014, for the Los Angeles Dodgers|
(through 2015 season)
|Runs batted in||36|
|Career highlights and awards|
Alexander Guerrero Perez (born November 20, 1986) is a Cuban professional baseball left fielder and third baseman who is currently a free agent. He defected from Cuba in 2013 to pursue a contract in Major League Baseball (MLB). He signed with the Los Angeles Dodgers and made his MLB debut in 2014. He played primarily shortstop in Cuba, but has played third base and left field for the Dodgers, who released him in 2016.
As a member of Cuba's Las Tunas team in the Cuban National Series, Guerrero was named to the 2010-2011 All-Star team as well as playing for the Cuba national baseball team at the 2012 Haarlem Baseball Week  and the 2011 World Port Tournament. He was part of the initial roster for the 2013 World Baseball Classic but did not make the final roster and reportedly sat out the regular season because he was upset at his snub.
He defected from Cuba in 2013 and obtained residency in Haiti. He began training in the Dominican Republic and on September 9, 2013, it was reported that he had been cleared by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control to sign with U.S. teams.
Guerrero was rumored to be signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers, with early reports putting his deal in the seven-year, $32 million area. However, his initial agents turned out to not be licensed and he switched to Scott Boras, who said the bidding was now wide open. On October 21, 2013, it was reported that Guerrero had reached a new agreement with the Dodgers, that would be worth $28 million over 4 years. The deal included a $10 million signing bonus and allows him to become a free agent after his age 30 season. The Dodgers officially announced his signing on October 22.
Guerrero made his professional debut with the Gigantes del Cibao in the Dominican Winter League. However, he dealt with hamstring issues and was limited to only 12 games, during which he hit .289.
Los Angeles Dodgers
Guerrero made the Dodgers' 25-man opening day roster for the 2014 season. He made his MLB debut as a pinch hitter on March 22, 2014 against the Arizona Diamondbacks, but when Diamondbacks manager Kirk Gibson countered by putting in a right-handed pitcher, Dodgers manager Don Mattingly sent in a left-hander to pinch hit for Guerrero. Guerrero had his first official at-bat the next night, and struck out. After the two-game opening series in Sydney, Australia, Guerrero was optioned to the Triple-A Albuquerque Isotopes.
During a game against the Salt Lake Bees on May 20, 2014, Guerrero was involved in a dugout scuffle with Albuquerque teammate Miguel Olivo in which Olivo bit off a portion of Guerrero's ear. He had to undergo a complicated plastic surgery operation to reattach the ear, necessitating several days in the hospital. In 65 games for the Isotopes, he played 51 games at second base, 9 in left field, 4 at shortstop and 1 at third base. He hit .329 with 15 homers and 49 RBI. The Dodgers recalled him when rosters expanded on September 1. He recorded his first Major League hit with a single to left field off of Erik Cordier of the San Francisco Giants on September 13. He appeared in 13 games with the Dodgers, primarily as a pinch hitter though he did play in left field for a few innings. He had just the one hit in 13 at-bats.
In spring training, Guerrero made it clear he intended to exercise an unusual clause in his contract that allowed him to refuse an assignment to the minor leagues. As it happened, he hit so well during spring training that he convinced the Dodgers he belonged on the opening day roster, despite concerns about his defense.
After two weeks, Guerrero was hitting so well that there was clamor for him to become the regular third baseman, as incumbent Juan Uribe was getting off to a slow start. Uribe, however, picked up his production, and Guerrero continued to be used in a utility role, playing at third base and at left field and pinch hitting. Despite not being a regular starter, Guerrero was named Rookie of the Month for April 2015, his first full month in the Major Leagues. He hit .423 with five homers and 13 RBI in only 13 games.
On June 2, with the Dodgers trailing the Colorado Rockies by three runs and down to their last strike in the top of the 9th inning, Guerrero hit the first grand slam of his career just over the center field wall to drive in what would be the winning run for the Dodgers.
His production tailed off down the stretch but he wound up playing in 117 games with 11 homers, 36 RBI and a .224 batting average.
Guerrero injured his knee in spring training in 2016, causing him to begin the season on the disabled list. In a minor league rehab stint across three different levels in May, he played in 16 games and hit .136. When he was ready to rejoin the team, there was no spot available on the active roster so Guerrero was designated for assignment by the Dodgers on May 31, 2016 and removed from the 40-man roster. The Dodgers released Guerrero on June 8.
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