Free Agent Stock Watch: Vladimir Guerrero

Vladimir Guerrero made Jon Daniels and the Rangers look pretty smart this year, but he could make another organization look foolish in 2011. That's not to say Guerrero can't repeat his 2010 success, but here are some facts to consider about the likely Hall of Famer:

The Pros

  • Guerrero hit .300/.345/.496 with 29 homers in 2010 and finished 9th in the league in homers and total bases.
  • He struck out just 60 times in 643 regular season plate appearances.
  • He will probably be available on a one-year deal.
  • Guerrero is a Type A free agent, but the Rangers, who turned down his option last week, don’t figure to offer arbitration. As long as Texas doesn’t offer arbitration, Guerrero won’t cost a draft pick.

The Cons

  • He turns 36 before the season begins.
  • As anyone who watched the World Series knows, Guerrero is no longer a legitimate option in the outfield. He played just 18 regular season games in the field and is now a full-time DH.
  • He started hot, but posted an OPS over .800 just once from July to October.
  • Guerrero has always been a free swinger and he'll always be one. Last year was no exception; he swung at a higher percentage of pitches outside the zone than any qualified hitter in the game.

The Verdict

Guerrero will likely sign a one-year deal given his age and the market for DHs. Many DHs are available for a relatively small number of jobs, so it seems unlikely that any team would offer two years. The Rangers could bring him back and the Rays, Blue Jays, White Sox, Twins, Tigers, A's and Mariners could all be looking for DHs too, so Vlad should have a number of suitors after a successful 2010 campaign. A one-year deal worth $8MM or so seems likely for Guerrero.

41 Responses to Free Agent Stock Watch: Vladimir Guerrero Leave a Reply

  1. The Rangers should pass

  2. Even as a DH, I have a hard time imagining Vladdy coming to Toronto and playing on the turf. Much as we love him here in Canada, it’s probably not a good career move for him.

    • Ian_Smell 5 years ago

      I’d hate to see him play on turf again, that stuff is horrible for your body.

    • Agreed. I’d love to see Vladdy or Manny in Toronto but the turf would likely only shorten the already limited remainder of their careers (even if the didn’t have to play defense). Also, Toronto probably isn’t going the elderly free agent route any time soon. Anthoupolus is trying to build a strong young core first and then possibly bring in the older free agents for a playoff push if necessary.

    • moonraker45 5 years ago

      I dont get it though, as a dh when would he even touch the turf??

  3. I just cant see him being as productive as he was last year. I dont have anything to back that up. Its just a feeling.

  4. Vlad will be lucky to beat Matsui’s deal for last year – $6mm. Assuming someone signs him, I doubt that he will match Matsui’s 2010 Angels season. Consequently, I would expect both to sign similar deals, and for 2011 to be the final MLB season for each.

    • nhsox 5 years ago

      How do you figure?

      • ryankrol 5 years ago

        A horrible second half for Vlad, and a strong second half for Matsui is where Vladdy’s value begins to look inflated in 2010, and looks questionable in 2011.

        • nhsox 5 years ago

          I don’t know if you take fangraphs, or Bill James’ predictions seriously, but they have Vlad puttting up a .304/.363/.505 line next year. On a one year deal, it wouldn’t be unreasonable to pay 8 to 10 million for that type of offensive production. The guy still has power, and still can put the bat on anything. Moreover, he’s coming off of a pretty impressive bounce back campaign.

          Matsui is a year older and is projected to put up a .268/.355/.447 line. He was never the hitter Guerrero was, and his strikeouts jumped from 75 to 98 over roughly the same amount of plate appearances. That’s a 30% increase. Vlad’s strikeouts went from 56 to 60 as he made an additional 236 plate appearances over 2009.

          Guerrero is one of the stronger free agent DH’s on the market, especially considering the question marks that come with taking on Manny Ramirez.

          PS did you mean to agree that they’ll both retire after 2011?

  5. ze3 5 years ago

    Man, Vlad and Texas were such a good combination, they complimented each other almost perfectly (with Vlad as the DH). Big Daddy has absolutely crushed the ball at Arlington all through his career. Its gonna be sad not seeing him there next year if the Rangers don’t re-sign him. Playing in Texas really helped put him on top of his game again. Good luck to the future Hall of Famer, wherever he goes.

    • ryankrol 5 years ago

      You mean for 2 months out of the season (May and June). Other than that, he was no better than Matsui.

      • ze3 5 years ago

        Well, I’d take Vlad’s May and June over Matsui’s season with the Angels any day. Some people forget the season has 162 games, which all count towards reaching the postseason, including games for May and June. Plus, Vlad’s just more fun to watch than Matsui. Baseball is also entertainment.

  6. Any one who Has Ever seen Vlad play knows that The stat where they say he swung at the most pitches out of the zone is Total BS!! He only struck out 35 times! Vlad most likely hit 5 or 6 of his 29 HR balls out of the Strike zone.

    • Just because he makes contact doesn’t mean that he doesn’t swing at most pitches out of the zone.

      • Gumby65 5 years ago

        The Panda (uh, 2009 version) didn’t invent being a great bad-ball hitter, and neither did Vlad, but Vlad made it… look good long before the KFP

    • suPaFreaK 5 years ago

      Let me guess you think Molina didn’t swing out of the zone either…

    • Seeing him bat in the World Series made it seem like he struck out AT LEAST 35 times.

      • suPaFreaK 5 years ago

        Thats what happens when you face Giants pitching

    • $1529282 5 years ago

      Is the stat that says he hit 29 HRs “total BS” too? Stats are stats. Vlad swings at everything. He might make contact on bad balls, but he swings at them.

    • flickadave 5 years ago

      Yep, who cares if he swings at balls outside of the zone as long as he hits them and hits them HARD

  7. He walked just 35 times in 643 regular season plate appearances. Which probably isn’t a pro. He struck out just 60 times in 643 regular season plate appearances. Which is pretty good for a free swinger.

    • raullll 5 years ago

      Yeah, he didn’t struckout 35 times in 643 PA, he walked 35 times and struck out 60.

  8. EdinsonPickle 5 years ago

    I think the Rangers are going to bring him back. He fit there well in 2010, and while I don’t see him replicating his numbers from last year; I think he will be serviceable. In the end I think it depends on the price.

  9. dusto 5 years ago

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see Tampa in the mix for him if his price is less than 5 million.

    • ryankrol 5 years ago

      They needed him more than the Rangers did in 2010.

  10. Brad Vance 5 years ago

    I like the fit for the White Sox. Veteran Right handed bat, and a good latin club house guy, which will make Ozzy happy…

  11. As a Rangers fan with realistic aspirations in 2011, I hope they go after Victor Martinez. Gives em a right handed power bat at catcher, 1B, and DH. Arguably he signs for a similar amount as to the 9 Million they would have paid for Vlad. Younger player, and much more versatile.

  12. ryankrol 5 years ago

    Vladdy is a journeyman DH now; and unless he arrives at a hitter’s ballpark, don’t expect him to come close to the deceiving numbers he posted in 2010.

  13. I would rather see Vlad in a Blue Jay uniform than Manny. I know a lot of Expo fans that would love to see him play north of the border again next year… he would be a big draw for the Jays and fill a lot of seats for that reason alone.

    • moonraker45 5 years ago

      if you are going for PR route, manny sells more then vladdy

  14. RepOak 5 years ago

    Oakland will take him no problem! Sign Guerrero and matsui who both will probably go cheap and our Hitting troubles are over! :-/

  15. FriedCalamari 5 years ago

    why is the turf bad for vlad and manny even if they’re not playing D? Wouldn’t they only run the base paths then avoiding the turf? or is their turf under the paths as well. Genuinely want to know

  16. to say Vlad will get 6-8Mil is just disrespectful! Damon signed an 8mil $ deal last season and he didnt have close to vlads production. I feel the Rangers dclined Vlads option because they want Cliff Lee and will have to break the bank to do so. Cliff Lee will sign before Vlad does if he goes to any team besides the Rangers, The Rangers will be knockin on Vlads door beggin for his bat, and if vlad and his agent play it right, this is when they can kick up the price. in the end I feel Vlad should get no less than 1yr $10 mil.

  17. Philip Marlowe 5 years ago

    Out of curiosity, can Vlad play 1B? I’d rather see him on the Cubs for one year than Adam “Can’t field a ball in the dirt” Dunn for four.

  18. Oldmanriver1 5 years ago

    Vlad will be able to hit when he is Sixty, he will hit next year for someone and will hit until he can no longer get on a team. It has always made me wonder why major league baseball has had to set up an arbitrary age in order to get rid of players. Case in point, Tony Perez one of the greatest two strike hitters of all time and one of my favorite players was traded in order to let Danny Dresan play first baseball for the then big red machine. Dresan was a good player but I knew Tony Perez and Danny you were no Tony Perez. It was the beginning of the fall of the Big Red Machine and after a couple of the other greats were let go Sparky Quit and took the job with Detroit.

Leave a Reply