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.

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