Just over one week after he was designated for assignment, the Los Angeles Dodgers announced on Wednesday Alex Guerrero was released, ending his tenure with the club. The Cuban native signed a four-year, $28 million contract that included a $10 million signing bonus in October 2013.
Guerrero has largely been without a position since losing the competition for the starting job at second base to Dee Gordon. A clause in Guerrero’s contract prevented the Dodgers from optioning him to the Minors as he would not grant the necessary consent.
Guerrero logged time at third base and in left field last season, slugging his way into the lineup. However, as his bat cooled, so too did the need to continue providing regular playing time.
With Guerrero going unclaimed, the Dodgers are on the hook for the remainder of this season’s $5 million salary and the $5 million he’s owed in 2017. Los Angeles figures to be in a similar position with Carl Crawford, who was designated for assignment on Sunday.
Dodgers president of baseball operations Andrew Friedman didn’t have an answer when asked if a resolution had been reached with Guerrero. “We’re continuing to have conversations to figure out the best course of action,” Friedman said Sunday.
On top of subpar production, trading the 29 year old presumably faced the hurdle of Guerrero reserving the right to opt out of his contract after the season concludes in which he is traded. Guerrero was slowed during Spring Training by a knee injury and began the 2016 season on the disabled list.
He struggled throughout his rehab assignment that lasted the maximum duration (20 days), going 9-for-66 (.136) with one double, one home run, two walks and 14 strikeouts over time spent with High-A Rancho Cucamonga, Double-A Tulsa and Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Guerrero hit .224/.251/.414 with nine doubles, one triple, 11 home runs and 36 RBIs over 117 career games with the Dodgers. He was the subject of trade rumors during 2015 and into the offseason.