ARLINGTON TX - NOVEMBER 01: Vladimir Guerrero #27 of the Texas Rangers hits a pop-fly out against starting pitcher Tim Lincecum #55 of the San Francisco Giants in the second inning of Game Five of the 2010 MLB World Series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on November 1 2010 in Arlington Texas. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
1 Total Update since February 4, 2011
over 2 years ago Update 56 comments
Man, I just don't get this one at all.
I can imagine two reasons for paying a player $8 million.
1. That $8 million might get you a shot at the World Series, and/or
2. That $8 million is going to put a lot of fannies in the stands.
Otherwise it's a great way to blow $8 million.
Does Vladimir Guerrero fit into either of those categories?
I do not believe that he does.
Everyone loves what the Orioles have been doing, especially with Buck Showalter in the dugout. But is anyone going to figure them for anything better than fourth place?
Guerrero's got a name, obviously. But can you really imagine the good people of Charm City getting excited about the chance to see Vladimir Guerrero bat four times? The truth is that there have been very, very, very few players who baseball fans would specifically pay to see. And while there might have been a year or two when Guerrero was one of those players, sort of, he's not anymore.
But wait, this gets worse. Guerrero's presence actually shoves a younger, cheaper, and decent-enough player to the bench (or the minors) and weakens the defense.
Luke Scott was the DH, and should be; now he's the Orioles' left fielder. Meanwhile, there's nowhere in the lineup at all for Felix Pie or Nolan Reimold, both of whom have their problems but do still have some upside.
And finally, let me address my all-time least favorite argument in favor of moves like this: "Hey, they have to spend the money somewhere, don't they?"
Yes, they do. Or rather, they should. But they don't have to spend it here. Every year, teams don't sign draft picks because they don't want to spend the money. Or don't even draft someone because the asking price will be too high. But that's just the stuff we know about. Do you have any idea how many teen-aged Dominicans and Venezuelans you can sign for $8 million?
I don't know, either. A lot.
If you were making a list of the things that a team like the Orioles should not do, spending $8 million on a player like Vladimir Guerrero is really close to the top.
Hey, I might be wrong. Probably not, though.
over 2 years ago Update 0 comments
The contract is reportedly worth $8 million (pending a physical exam), which would give Guerrero a raise from the salary he earned last season with Texas. What's interesting is that, up until now, the Orioles seemed to be Guerrero's only strong suitor, and were said to be offering considerably lower sums of money. So either those reports were wrong, this contract includes a bunch of incentives, or the Orioles simply gave in to Guerrero's demands.
Guerrero - who turns 36 in a few days - drove in 115 runs with the Rangers as the team's regular DH. However, he hit a lot worse away from his hitter-friendly home ballpark, he's no longer capable of playing the field without looking terrible, and he's at an age where his skills will only continue to deteriorate. He should be able to hit fairly well with Baltimore, and it's only a one-year commitment, but he's not the threat he used to be, or even anywhere close.
Guerrero's signing pushes Luke Scott into left field, which, in turn, pushes Felix Pie and Nolan Reimold either to the bench or the minors. This sure seems like a move a team like the Orioles shouldn't bother making, but if nothing else, Guerrero should generate some excitement within the clubhouse and the fan base, which isn't entirely without its value.
For more on the move, check out our Orioles blog, Camden Chat.