Alex Guerrero is close to signing with the Chunichi Dragons of NPB, the top league in Japan. Guerrero, who turned 30 this month, was designated for assignment by the Dodgers in June and hasn’t played since. He batted .136 in 16 minor league games this year.
Update (2 p.m.): Guerrero’s contract is official, per an announcement on the Dragons’ website. He will wear number 42.
Update (10:20 p.m.): it’s a straight one-year contract worth approximately $1.5 million, plus incentives.
Guerrero is still owed $7.5 million this year and next year under the terms of the four-year, $25.5 million contract he signed with the Dodgers prior to the 2014 season.
Sanspo first reported the news (in Japanese).
The Dodgers capped the 2015-16 international signing period by signing infielder/outfielder Yordan Alvarez. The 18-year-old received a $2 million signing bonus, according to multiple reports, which will cost the Dodgers $4 million after a 100 percent tax levied by MLB is figured in.
The Dodgers will be restricted to $300,000 signing bonuses for the next two international signing periods under the terms of the current Collective Bargaining Agreement. The next signing period begins July 2. Since June 15 was the final day of the 2015-16 signing period, the Dodgers were under a tight deadline to sign anyone they considered unattainable with a $300,000 purse.
The Dodgers have spent in excess of $40 million on signing bonuses for international amateurs since July 1, 2015. Figure in the 100 percent tax, and the Dodgers’ actual tab is likely to exceed $80 million — more than at least three teams will spend on their entire major league rosters in 2016.
The Dodgers formally released Alex Guerrero Wednesday, making him a free agent. Ten days had passed since the Dodgers designated him for assignment.
Should Guerrero sign with a new team, the Dodgers would still be responsible for his $7.5 million salary this year and next. He’s still owed a pro-rated portion of $5 million this season; his salary this year and next includes a $2.5 million signing bonus due on Jan. 15 each year.
Guerrero, 29, injured his knee in spring training this year and hasn’t appeared in a major league game since. In 117 games with the Dodgers from 2014-15, Guerrero slashed .224/.251/.434. The former National League Rookie of the Month signed a four-year, $28 million as a free agent out of Cuba prior to the 2014 season.
CHICAGO — Julio Urias had a new number waiting in his locker in advance of his second major league start: 7.
The pitcher said he’s worn the number since he was 5 years old. He gave it up with the Dodgers because Alex Guerrero had the number; Urias wore 78 in spring training the last two seasons, and again in his debut last Friday in New York. But Guerrero was designated for assignment Tuesday, clearing the way for Urias to have his old number back.
Urias is the first full-time pitcher in franchise history with a single-digit jersey number since Bobo Newsom in 1943.
“It’s the first number I ever played with, and it’s a number that reminds me of when I was a child,” Urias said through an interpreter.
Alex Torres, the Dodgers’ clubhouse attendant on the trip, said the club was aware of Urias’ preference prior to this week. He said the Dodgers (and every major league team) have an extra supply of letters and numbers from Majestic, the league’s official apparel company. Stitching Urias’ new jersey together on short notice was not an issue.
Here’s more from Urias’ afternoon scrum:
Alex Guerrero was designated for assignment after not appearing in a game this season for the Dodgers. (Getty Images)
CHICAGO — The Dodgers designated utility player Alex Guerrero for assignment Tuesday after two and a half mostly disappointing years in the organization.
The Dodgers have 10 days to release or trade Guerrero, or place him on outright waivers. He can’t be sent to the minors without his permission under the terms of his contract. The Dodgers still owe Guerrero $7.5 million this year and next, but he is not on their 40-man roster as of today.
Guerrero, 29, hasn’t played this season because of a knee injury he suffered in spring training. He saw his rehabilitation stint end Sunday after the maximum 20 days in the minor leagues. He went 9-for-66 at the plate with two walks — 1-for-8 with six strikeouts in two Triple-A games last week.