LOS ANGELES -- Alex Guerrero could be a useful trade chip in the Los Angeles Dodgers' oft-stated goal of acquiring a starting pitcher between now and the July 31 trade deadline if not for one small detail.
Guerrero's contract contains an opt-out clause if he is traded, meaning the team that acquires him could control him for only a few months rather than the 2 1/2 remaining years of his contract. Such a deal would be unappealing to a rebuilding team willing to trade major-league talent.
Guerrero proved he has power by slugging 10 home runs and six doubles in his first 39 games before his playing time all but dried up in line with Justin Turner's continued hot hitting. He is in his prime at 28 and owed a reasonable $12 million for the next two seasons. He could be an intriguing option for a team that needs right-handed pop and there are plenty of those.
There is one solution to the dilemma. Guerrero is frustrated enough with his lack of playing time -- just eight at-bats in July -- that he would consider removing the contract clause if the Dodgers or a team trading for him paid him to do so, according to a source. The Atlanta Braves did something similar with Alberto Callaspo, paying him a reported $100,000 in order to complete the Juan Uribe trade with the Dodgers last month.
Asked about his lack of playing time and whether he thinks a change of scenery would be best, Guerrero would say only, "I want to play." He met with Dodgers manager Don Mattingly earlier this season about his lack of playing time. Guerrero is represented by agent Scott Boras.