Posted October 22, 2013

Dodgers sign Guerrero for 2B; Cano back to Yankees or will this team make a move?

Alexander Guerrero, Los Angeles Dodgers, Robinson Cano
Robinson Cano, Yankees

Robinson Cano will be the top free agent on the market this offseason. (Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

The Dodgers signed 26-year-old Cuban defector Alexander Guerrero to a four-year, $28 million contract on Monday. Their expectation is that the power-hitting Guerrero, who played shortstop in Cuba, can be their starting second baseman in 2014. The signing follows Los Angeles’ triumph with fellow defector Yasiel Puig, who was signed last June, and should have clear repercussions on an increasingly compelling second base market this offseason.

The Dodgers intend to send Guerrero, who, like new White Sox first baseman and fellow Cuban Jose Abreu, defected earlier this year and established residence in Haiti, to winter ball, as they did with Puig. Guerrero might need a bit of minor league exposure before he is ready to be inserted in L.A.’s lineup, but general manager Ned Colletti said on Monday that Guerrero, who will turn 27 in December, would be in the majors, “if not right away then very, very soon thereafter,” adding, “he’s a big league player.”

If that’s the case — and Guerrero’s age and salary certainly paint him as a major league starter — it means Dodgers co-owner Magic Johnson was telling the truth earlier this month when he said his team was unlikely to pursue second baseman Robinson Cano, the top free agent on the market this winter. It also likely means the Dodgers won’t pick up the $5.75 million option on incumbent second baseman Mark Ellis. With Tigers’ second baseman Omar Infante also hitting the market and the Reds looking to trade Brandon Phillips, that significantly reduces Cano’s leverage heading into his free agency, which likely increases his already excellent chances of re-signing with the Yankees, who list him among their top priorities this winter.

In addition to those teams, the Orioles are another contender that could use a second baseman now that Brian Roberts’ contract has expired. The Reds could potentially move Billy Hamilton to second if they deal Phillips, but Hamilton hasn’t played that position since rookie ball. Then again, Cincinnati may find the market for the 32-year-old Phillips, who is owed $50 million over the next four years, lacking. It’s also worth keeping an eye on the Braves, who left Dan Uggla off their postseason roster but still owe him $26 million over the next two years, and the A’s, who finished the season with a platoon of Eric Sogard and Alberto Callaspo at the keystone.

The Tigers are the only team in that bunch likely to take a series run at Cano. With the Dodgers out of the picture, Cano and Detroit are not a far-fetched pairing especially given that the Tigers once again fell tantalizingly short of their first championship since 1984. Eighty-four-year-old owner Mike Ilitch, a former Tigers farmhand who bought the team in 1992, has shown a willingness in recent years to open his impressive wallet in pursuit of the team’s first title under his stewardship. Ilitch surprised everyone when he gave Prince Fielder a nine-year, $214 million contract in January 2012, and Cano, who is reportedly looking for a contract even richer than that one, will find very few teams who can meet his expected price tag. Detroit may just be one that is willing and able to do so.

13 comments
William27
William27

if they were stupid enough to give fielder that insane contract they are capable of anything no matter how stupid it would be

oasis1994
oasis1994

The Tigers are not getting Cano. That would make no sense; they need to find a way to improve their bullpen. What they really need is a closer.

Signing Cano would be a waste of their resources and they would have too much money locked up with Verlander, Fielder and Miggy (who will be a free agent soon). 

Sportsfan18
Sportsfan18

What I'm reading is that the market for Cano is drying up... yet somehow the Yanks will still overpay him when they don't need to.

Michael E
Michael E

As a tigers fan, I don't want him, we already have a lackadaisical rich power hitter

RichW
RichW

The Tigers never learn, do they?

ineedataxi
ineedataxi

Illitch already screwed up royally with that albatross contract given to Fielder. 3rd worst in baseball behind only A Roid & Pujols

jimmyjon_55555
jimmyjon_55555

dodgers salary is very high- prob above yanks next year and thats withOUT cano... so- yeah - they prob wont sign him.  yanks have 90MM coming off the books for next year.  they will prob resign grandersen, kuroda but both will make less than 2012...  they can still sign cano to a big deal- and factor in mccann - and that japanese pitcher tanaka (who will be around 10-13MM per year)... the bidding price for tanaka doesnt count against the luxury tax so - the overall team salary could go down - and if arod is suspended for 50+ games - they save an additional 10MM+.  

inthepresent
inthepresent

@Sportsfan18 He played in all but 2 games this year.

BA .314

OBP .383

190 hits

107 RBI

27 HR

41 doubles

I know that he has a bad reputation for his lack of hustle – perhaps deservedly so. And I hate the Yankees as much as the next guy. But with those stats, how can anyone reasonably expect him to command less than a premium on the open market. If the Yankees don’t give it to him, someone else will. Players with those kinds of stats are few and far between.   

John02169
John02169

@Sportsfan18 But if they don't overpay him, and Cano feels slighted, just think of how much he will hustle getting down to first.  Heck, even if you over pay him he is not going to run hard.

Mikey A
Mikey A

@jimmyjon_55555 no NO no NO no NO no NO no NO no NO no NO no NO no NO  NAH naop nope NAH naop nope NAH naop nope NAH naop nope NAH naop nope NAH naop nope NAH naop nope NAH naop nope  noa nddo nope neeeoaosh

Sneeral
Sneeral

@inthepresent @Sportsfan18 Cano deserves to be paid like the star he is. His asking price of $305M for 10 years is a joke. He's not a $20M/yr player. $130M over 7 years should be the limit. 

inthepresent
inthepresent

@Sneeral @inthepresent @Sportsfan18 i don't know who you can compare him to that is the same level of talent production-wise and gets that little. not saying that 20 mil is a small amount of money, but for that kind of production, it certainly is.