Vladimir Guerrero of the Baltimore Orioles slaps the ball to right field where Josh Reddick of the Boston Red Sox (not pictured) mishandled a fly ball at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)

Vladimir Guerrero Gets Release From Blue Jays, Not Retiring

After playing several games in the Toronto Blue Jays' minor league system, Vladimir Guerrero asked for and was granted his release by the Jays.

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Vladimir Guerrero Released By Jays, Still Wants To Play

It appears that we now have the Vladimir Guerrero saga straightened out. Here’s further confirmation from his agent that he’s not retiring:

And, Mr. Stringfellow explains further:

Here, of course, is the Shakespearean “rub”. While Guerrero hit well in the Blue Jays’ system — .313/.320/.625 in 50 at-bats with four home runs — that apparently wasn’t enough to get him a major league spot with the Blue Jays. This is understandable, as Edwin Encarnacion has been Toronto’s primary DH, and he’s hitting .290/.355/.579 with 17 home runs in 58 games.

Guerrero has played only a handful of outfield games since 2008 and not at all since 2010; he’s a DH only and there simply aren’t that many teams in the market for one.

One of them, oddly enough, might be the team that let him go at the end of 2011, the Orioles; Baltimore designated hitters have hit .258/.349/.431 this year with eight home runs. That’s decent, but who knows? Maybe Vlad could do better for them.

We still await further developments.


Vladimir Guerrero Not Retiring, Says His Agent

Earlier reports Tuesday said that former Expo, Angel and Oriole Vladimir Guerrero was going to give up on his comeback attempt for the Toronto Blue Jays, for whom he has been playing at Triple-A Las Vegas.

However, Guerrero’s agent says those reports are untrue:

Yes, there is a real person named Bean Stringfellow. He played minor league baseball in the 1980s, mostly in the Braves organization, and then became a sports agent.

In the meantime, we have conflicting reports on Vladimir Guerrero’s playing status, but you’d think his agent would know. We await confirmation one way or the other.

For more on the Blue Jays, please visit Bluebird Banter.


Vladimir Guerrero Reportedly Retiring From Baseball

One month ago, on May 10, Vladimir Guerrero signed a minor-league deal with the Toronto Blue Jays. After getting in shape, Vlad played 11 minor-league games in the Jays’ system, hitting .313/.320/.625 in 50 at-bats with four home runs.

Ready to go, right? Major-league bound?

Not so, apparently:

This rumor was first reported by a reader at SB Nation’s Angels blog, Halos Heaven:

Vladimir Guerrero has decided that his time with Toronto is done and likely his career. After tonight’s (yesterday) Las Vegas 51’s game, Vladimir Guerrero left the team. Speaking with management of the team and indications from Vladdy, it seemed like he was not going to get an opportunity that he wanted with the big league team anytime soon. He is likely to announce his retirement in the coming days.

The reader sourced himself; he doesn’t say where this report came from, but the tweet above appears to confirm it.

If this report is true, Guerrero finishes his major-league career hitting .318/.379/.553 with 449 home runs, 181 stolen bases and one MVP award (with the Angels in 2004).


Vladimir Guerrero, Blue Jays Agree To Contract Terms

Vladimir Guerrero is Vladimir Guerrero, but he's also 37 years old, officially. Last season, he was 36 years old, and he posted a 101 OPS+ with the Baltimore Orioles. That's not miserable production, but it's also not particularly appealing production from a designated hitter with next to no defensive value. Therefore, it didn't come as a complete surprise when Vladimir Guerrero passed the offseason not signing a contract with anybody.

Oh, there were whispers and there were feelers. Guerrero was at one point connected to the Cleveland Indians, and to the Miami Marlins, and most recently to the Arizona Diamondbacks. But nobody went so far as to sign Guerrero, because he's relatively old and relatively mediocre. Name aside, there were other options.

But now look! Guerrero has a new home! Vladimir Guerrero has signed a minor-league contract, but Vladimir Guerrero has signed a contract! For baseball!

Said Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos in February:

"Right now, we don't have any talks going on with anyone. But if somebody were to fall in our lap, would we take a look at it? Yes."

He later defined "fall in our lap" this way: "If someone were to say, 'I want to come in to camp on a minor league deal,' we'd say we're open to [bringing in] pretty much anybody. But in terms of adding a free agent on a guaranteed contract, we won't be doing that."

Well all right then. I think it's say to say that Guerrero more or less fell in the Blue Jays' lap. Guerrero was hoping to sign for millions of dollars somewhere, but his demands obviously and sensibly came down as he realized nobody was going to make that kind of commitment.

So Guerrero will report to the minors, at first. From there, the Blue Jays will evaluate what he can do. If you take a look at the major-league roster, Edwin Encarnacion has been hitting the crap out of the ball as a DH, but Adam Lind has been getting crapped on by the ball as a first baseman, and Encarnacion has some admittedly limited experience at first in the past. Maybe there's room for Guerrero. Maybe there's not. The Blue Jays are taking a shot here and they'll see where they stand in a matter of weeks.

Maybe it's kind of humiliating for a guy like Vladimir Guerrero to have to settle for a minor-league contract. Or maybe he's just ecstatic to get another shot, because he can't imagine a life without baseball, and he doesn't want to have to deal with that yet. I don't know, I'm not Vladimir Guerrero. If I were, I wouldn't be writing this.

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