Take this column with a grain of salt because it’s Steve Dilbeck and Dilbeck likes to stir the pot, but he noted Dodgers infielder Alex Guerrero’s comments yesterday with some concern.
The comments: about how Guerrero does not want to go down to the minor leagues anymore. Which, fine, OK, no player wants to. The problem: Guerrero actually has a choice in the matter and it may not jibe 100% with the Dodgers’ plans:
The infielder has the Dodgers in a difficult spot, the organization agreeing to give the Cuban defector a wacky four-year, $28-million contract before last season that does not allow him to be optioned to the minors after his first season without his permission . . .
. . . “The team does not know what they are going to do, but all I can control is keep working hard and they will get the final word,” Guerrero told Sanchez. “I don’t want to go down. I’m not going down. I feel like I can get better here at this level and play every day. I think that’s what every player wants. You want to be in the Major Leagues and play as much as you can.”
Dilbeck says this is a disaster, as it could hurt the Dodgers’ roster flexibility if Guerrero doesn’t have a clear cut position. I’m not sure why Dilbeck — and Buster Olney and Peter Gammons, each of whom tweeted Dilbeck’s column this morning echoing his concern — did not note the first part of that quote where Guerrero says the Dodgers have the final call, but so be it.
All of this said, Guerrero is an interesting player. Best known by many as the player who missed a ton of time last year after then-minor league teammate Miguel Olivo bit off part of his ear in a fight, he is also a pretty sweet-hitting prospect. Prior to the ear-biting incident, Guerrero was hitting .376/.417/.735 with 12 home runs and 37 RBI for Albuquerque. He fell off after he returned, but that’s pretty understandable.
If he hits this spring, the Dodgers will find someplace for him, one assumes, and this will all be seen to be just the latest tempest in Dilbeck’s teapot.