Jon Heyman spoke with Scott Boras, agent to Dodgers infield prospect Alex Guerrero. Who most of you got to know via the awful attack he experienced from Miguel Olivo, who bit off a chunk of his ear. Heyman reports that Guerrero, while still under medical care at UCLA, is doing better:
Dodgers prospect Alex Guerrero is said to be progressing following ear re-attachment surgery, and the hope remains that the ear has been saved after loosing a significant chunk of it in a biting incident, Guerrero’s agent Scott Boras said.
“We’re still not out of the woods. But we’re optimistic. The doctor gave a good report (on Thursday),” Boras said by phone.
He can’t really work out yet because sweat and moisture is bad for area around the reattachment. Boras talks about Guerrero’s psychological state as well. Which, because this was an on-the-field incident, many of us may easily overlook. But it was nonetheless a violent attack that has left very real physical scars, so it would be understandable if there were some mental ones too.
The Atlanta Braves selected high school pitcher Carter Stewart with the number eight overall pick in the 2018 draft. Then, after the draft, they gave Stewart a below-slot signing bonus offer, claiming that they found problems with his wrist in his post-draft physical. Stewart ended up rejecting the offer and the MLBPA filed a grievance against the Braves on Stewart’s behalf.
The grievance sought to make Stewart a free agent it was considered a long shot at the time of its filing and, in fact, the grievance was rejected. Stewart, unable to attain free agency, enrolled at Eastern Florida State College, a two-year school that would’ve made him eligible for the 2019 draft.
Now, Ken Rosenthal reports, Stewart has pulled a crazy Ivan and is heading to Japan, having signed with the Fukuoka Softbank Hawks of the Japanese Pacific League. The terms of the deal aren’t known, but Rosenthal says Stewart was looking for a $7 million guarantee.
It’s a fascinating turn of events for Stewart who, this time last year, was considered perhaps the best amateur pitcher in baseball. Being lowballed and having his health questioned by the Braves may have been a wakeup call to Stewart, however, about his chances of finding a quick path the bigs in the U.S. If the shine did come off of his prospect status in the past year here, there’s every reason to believe that $7 million and a path to the bigs in Japan is a much better deal than several million less and a path to the bigs in America.
He’ll be worth watching over the next few years, that’s for sure. Both for his own sake and to see if, in this era of Major League Baseball’s capping of amateur bonuses and teams’ habit of manipulating service time, going overseas becomes more attractive to American high schoolers and college players.