Paul Sancya/Associated Press
The Dodgers signed Cuban defector Alexander Guerrero over the winter to a four-year, $28-million contract, according to the Los Angeles Times' Dylan Hernandez.
Los Angeles made the deal just before declining to pick up Mark Ellis' player option for 2014 and the veteran second baseman went on to sign with the Dodgers' final nemesis last season, the St. Louis Cardinals.
The Dodgers signed Guerrero, a natural shortstop, with hopes that he could step in as the everyday starter at second base. However, the process hasn't been quite that simple.
Guerrero, 27, has never played an inning of major league baseball—or even minor league baseball. In fact, he hasn't played at a high level since 2012. Guerrero sat out last season in part due to his frustration over being left off Cuba's World Baseball Classic roster, which was also a factor in his decision to defect to the Dominican Republic.
After signing with the Dodgers, Guerrero played winter ball in the Dominican Republic but only appeared in 12 games due to hamstring injuries. His development at second base was cut short, which has opened the door for other suitors to claim the starting job.
One of the names that has surfaced regarding the position is Miguel Rojas.
A career .234 hitter over eight seasons in the minors, Rojas is known more for his glove than his bat and was invited to the team's winter development program in early January. The team also brought Rojas to Camelback Ranch to work out at second base a few weeks before spring training even started.
Another option is Dee Gordon, once considered the Dodgers' shortstop of the future.
Gordon's role on the team took a major hit upon the arrival of Hanley Ramirez and he spent most of 2013 in Triple-A after struggling to hit consistently at the big-league level.
It seems that the remaining hope for Gordon's Dodgers career lies at second base.
If the Guerrero experiment does not pan out in a timely manner, expect Los Angeles to try Gordon and Rojas on the right side of the infield along with former Los Angeles Angels' leadoff man Chone Figgins. Of course, this type of platoon situation would certainly be a downgrade from the veteran leadership and fielding prowess that Ellis displayed over the past two seasons.
If one thing's for sure, it's that the Dodgers have plenty of question marks to address at second base heading into the 2014 season.