Free Agent Stock Watch: Matt Guerrier

Matt Guerrier probably caught a break when the Twins decided not to offer him arbitration earlier this week. Fellow Type As Frank Francisco, Jason Frasor and Grant Balfour all got offers of arbitration and will cost picks, but teams can sign the 32-year-old Guerrier without having to surrender a draft choice. Here's a detailed look at his free agent stock:

The Pros

  • Guerrier led the league in appearances in 2008-09 and pitched in 74 games this past season.
  • He induces more grounders than fly balls.
  • His slider is excellent.
  • Guerrier has a 2.7 K/BB ratio against right-handed hittters in his career. 
  • He has just a 1.5 K/BB ratio against left-handed hitters in his career, but he does induce more groundballs against them (55%).
  • As mentioned earlier, it won't cost a pick to sign Guerrier.

The Cons

  • Defense independent pitching stats like FIP and xFIP suggest Guerrier's 3.17 ERA would have been higher if he had been less lucky in 2010.
  • He posted 5.3 K/9 and 2.8 BB/9 last year. That's not spectacular and both rates were better in 2009.
  • The free agent market is flush with right-handed relievers, so Guerrier won't have much leverage.

The Verdict

The Twins are one of many teams that could use a steady arm like Guerrier's. MLB.com's Kelly Thesier wrote last month that they seem more likely to retain Guerrier and Jesse Crain than their other free agent relievers.

The market has played out favorably for at least one reliever, but Guerrier doesn't have the gaudy numbers that Joaquin Benoit does. Teams will have interest in someone with a history of effectiveness and durability, but I will be surprised if Guerrier earns more than $4-5MM on a one-year deal.


11 Responses to Free Agent Stock Watch: Matt Guerrier Leave a Reply

  1. pretzeldude360 5 years ago

    It would be a blow to the Twins bp if he leaves, but he will make any team he goes to better.

    • TwinsVet 5 years ago

      Our bullpen should be fine if we get Crain or Guerrier back. Capps closing, Nathan setup (unless he comes back strong), Crain/Guerrier in the 7th, with Mijares and Neshek in there for situational work. Throw in the fact we have *alot* of #6 starters and guys on the cusp legitimately making the bullpen (Perkins/Slama/Manship/Swarzak), and we’ll be just fine.

  2. Dave_Gershman 5 years ago

    Matt Guerrier is one of my favorites. I think the Reds would be a perfect fit for plenty of reasons. Matt gets my friend free tickets but not me. Still kind of upset about that.

  3. basemonkey 5 years ago

    This guy is an excellent RP in his peak years now. That said, paying big in Free Agency for any bullpen arm can be a bad bet. For whatever reason, outside of the few consistent guys, RPs can be a very volatile commodity to predict. And further confusing the matter, nearly equivalent or serviceable players can be had for much cheaper cost elsewhere, if a team is willing to roll the dice on an internal option without as much an ML track record, or, does some research.

    I just mean that, to get these top tier RP Free Agents, it sometimes demands a multiple year committment of anywhere from 5-10M/YR depending on the player in question. Weigh that against the fact that oftentimes these guys, as much as all analysis might say otherwise, they just oftentimes underperform. It doesn’t take much for these guys to fail. One dead arm period in the season, and suddenly the whole season is in “catch-up” mode.

  4. baseballz 5 years ago

    I would be more then happy if the Jays signed either Guerrier or Crain for next year. I’d love Crain cause he could def try out for the closer position, but Guerrier would def be a guy you could call on a lot and take over the Scott Downs role in the BP. Despite having lower strikeout numbers his groundballing ways would play very well in our infield.

  5. RahZid 5 years ago

    This is exactly the arm that the Red Sox need! I’d be thrilled is they got him for 2 years $12M

    • Dylan 5 years ago

      What?! 6 million per is crazy…maybe 4…3 years 12 million….MAX…or a max two year 8 million

      • RahZid 5 years ago

        I agree that it is a bit much, but Boston doesn’t like giving relievers long term deals and they are desperate for a quality reliever. Perhaps thrilled wasn’t the right word choice, but I would be glad that they took a step to solidify a questionable bullpen, without losing draft picks (I don’t see them giving up picks to sign a bullpen arm).

  6. Come on back to Minnesota Matt. We’ll take you, Crain, Capps, and let the rest of them walk.

  7. slider32 5 years ago

    Guerrier could get up to 3/15; he will be in high demand. This would be a big loss for the Twins but I don’t see them out bidding the Sox on this one.

  8. Fair assessment with the exception of the first ‘Con’. Not sure what this means… “Defense independent pitching stats like FIP and xFIP suggest Guerrier’s 3.17 ERA would have been higher if he had been less lucky in 2010.” Where is this luck stat you speak of?

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