Reports last month that Cuban infielder Alexander Guerrero had agreed to a contract with the Dodgers turned out to be premature, but the 26-year-old has apparently narrowed his list of potential landing spots.
Darren Wolfson of 1500 ESPN reports that Guerrero is currently deciding between four teams, including the Twins, Dodgers, Red Sox, and Braves. The Reds have also checked in, though it’s not clear if they are a serious possibility. There’s a bit of conflicting information here, as Tim Brown of Yahoo! Sports reports that the Red Sox are not one of the finalists, but that has to bode well for the deep-pocketed Dodgers.
Guerrero, long one of Cuba’s best middle infielders, defected earlier this year and is currently working out in the Dominican Republic. He will need to be unblocked by the U.S. Office of Foreign Assets Control before signing with an MLB team. Jesse Sanchez of MLB.com reported last month that he is expected to command a five- to seven-year deal.
The Rays have traded right-hander Jake Odorizzi to the Twins, per team announcements on Saturday evening. The Twins will receive minor league shortstop Jermaine Palacios in the deal. Despite previous speculation, recently-DFA’d outfielder Corey Dickerson was not included in the trade.
With Odorizzi, the Twins finally have the front-end starter they’ve been seeking all winter. It’s a bargain deal as well, as the 27-year-old righty is under contract through 2019 and didn’t require the club to part with any of their top-shelf prospects in the trade. Odorizzi will be looking to stage a comeback in 2018 after a dismal performance with the Rays last year, during which he eked out a career-worst 4.14 ERA, 3.8 BB/9 and 8.0 SO/9 through 143 1/3 innings.
Palacios, 21, ranked no. 27 in the Twins’ system last season. He split his year between Single-A Cedar Rapids and High-A Fort Myers, raking a combined .296/.333/.454 with 13 home runs and 20 stolen bases in 539 plate appearances. He’s expected to continue developing at shortstop, though he’s also seen limited time at second and third base during his four-year career in the minors.