The Los Angeles Dodgers are American if nothing else. And when almost every American instuition is downsizing, the Dodgers are bucking the norm and reverting back to that much older American altruism–expansion.
The Dodgers conquest of all available means to obtain more players has turned it’s eyes to Miguel Alfredo Gonzales. Bill Shaikin of the Los Angeles Times wrote Friday afternoon that the Dodgers were interested in Gonzales, the 20 year-old who earlier this year fled Cuba for El Salvador, and is now residing in Tijuana.
Shaikin announces the Dodgers scouting contingent in Tijuana:
Bob Engle, the Dodgers’ vice president of international scouting, led the Dodgers’ contingent to Mexico on Thursday. Rick Ragazzo, the vice president of professional scouting, and Mike Tosar, their Latin American scouting coordinator, also were in attendance.
The Dodgers signed Cuban defector and sensation Yasiel Puig last season for $42 million, and Gonzales similarly could be ruled a free agent, and available to the highest bidder soon.
The U.S. Treasury Department has yet to provide the necessary clearance for Gonzalez, a Cuban defector, to sign with an American team. Once that clearance is obtained, Major League Baseball would declare Gonzalez a free agent.
The Dodgers scored with international signings Puig and Hyun Jin Ryu recently, but they’ve also spread their acquisition-al wings through free agent signings and trades. Zack Greinke signed as a free agent for $147 million. They traded for Adrian Gonzales, Carl Crawford, Josh Beckett, Hanley Ramirez, and Nicholas Punto the IV.
Most teams in Major League Baseball, like many American institutions, are downsizing; and some savvy clubs are succeeding that way. But that is not the way Guggenheim Baseball Management runs the Dodgers. It hasn’t been a winning formula yet, but it’s not because the international signings have not panned out.