Vladimir Guerrero Rumors
The Mets traded for Mike Piazza on this date in 1998. He would go on to hit .296/.373/.542 with 220 home runs in eight seasons with the Mets, establishing himself as one of the best offensive catchers ever. Here are today's links...
- Vladimir Guerrero says signing with the Blue Jays brings his career full circle, Shi Davidi of Sportsnet.ca tweets. The former Montreal Expos star says he would like to hit 51 more home runs and reach 500 for his career.
- The Nationals are not actively pursuing a trade for catching depth, according to Amanda Comak of the Washington Times. They’d consider adding a veteran backup, but aren’t willing to part with anything significant in a deal. Jesus Flores is the Nationals' starting catcher following Wilson Ramos' ACL tear and Sandy Leon's high ankle sprain. Carlos Maldonado is on the MLB roster to back Flores up.
- The Cubs will face some difficult decisions this summer, when they must decide which players to keep and which players to trade, ESPN.com's Buster Olney notes. It seems likely that they'll trade Ryan Dempster, but deciding whether to trade Bryan LaHair and Matt Garza could be more difficult for GM Jed Hoyer.
The Blue Jays have signed 37-year-old designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero to a minor league contract, the team announced. The Proformance client would earn a pro-rated portion of $1.3MM in the Major Leagues, according to Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports, who first reported the deal (Twitter links).
If Guerrero's bat looks good at extended Spring Training (his next stop) the Blue Jays could make some changes to their lineup. Assuming the Blue Jays don't consider Guerrero an option in the outfield, he'll pinch hit and DH. They could have Guerrero DH against left-handed pitching and shift Adam Lind to the bench against southpaws, with Edwin Encarnacion playing first base. Encarnacion, the team's best hitter so far in 2012, will continue to play every day, but it seems Lind could eventually lose playing time as a result of the signing.
Guerrero has 2,590 hits, 449 homers and a .318/.379/.553 line in 16 big league seasons. In 590 plate appearances with the Orioles last year, the nine-time All-Star posted a .290/.317/.416 line with 13 homers. He drew interest from the Diamondbacks, Indians and Marlins earlier this year.
Blue Jays GM Alex Anthopoulos, a former Montreal Expos employee, has expressed admiration for Guerrero in the past. Anthopoulos has said throughout the spring that he'd be open to adding players on low-risk minor league deals.
Photo courtesy of US Presswire.
Here's the latest from around the majors...
- Diamondbacks GM Kevin Towers thought Vladimir Guerrero performed well in his tryout with the team but will have to consult with team management before deciding whether to offer Guerrero a contract, reports Nick Piecoro of the Arizona Republic. Towers speculated that Guerrero's only possible role with the club could be as a DH during interleague games, a role that Wily Mo Pena filled for the Snakes last season.
- The Brewers may check in with Derrek Lee in regards to their hole at first base, GM Doug Melvin told reporters (including Scott Miller of CBS Sports) earlier this week. Lee said he didn't plan to officially retire despite a lack of interest this offseason, though he seemed to be holding out for "a perfect situation." The Pirates, Lee's last team, would receive a compensatory draft pick if Lee were to sign a Major League deal, though it's likely that Lee would only be offered a minor league contract, if anything, by the Brewers or another club.
- Torii Hunter tells Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune that he would consider returning to the Twins next season if he doesn't re-sign with the Angels. Given that Hunter's stated goal is to play for a contender in 2013, it's hard to see him returning to Minnesota unless he gets no other offers (and, of course, presuming that the Twins would be interested).
- Carl Crawford has been moved to the 60-day DL to create a 40-man roster spot for the called-up Aaron Cook, the Red Sox announced tonight. In a corresponding move, Jose Iglesias was sent down to create space for Cook on the 25-man roster.
- Right-hander Carlos Torres has been called up by the Rockies and filled the last spot on their 40-man roster, reports Troy Renck of the Denver Post. Jhoulys Chacin has been sent down to Triple-A in a corresponding move that opens a spot for Torres on the 25-man roster. Torres last pitched in the majors in 2010 as a member of the White Sox.
- Major League Baseball and the NCAA are in talks regarding increased partnership between the two entities, such as MLB providing funding for scholarships, reports Bryan Fischer of CBS Sports.
- White Sox starter John Danks told reporters (including MLB.com's Scott Merkin) that he isn't feeling any additional pressure from his offseason contract extension. After allowing six earned runs in seven innings against Cleveland tonight, Danks' ERA stands at 6.51 through six starts.
Vladimir Guerrero looked pretty good in his workout for the Diamondbacks, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (Twitter links). Arizona has some interest in signing the veteran DH, but he's still considered a long shot according to Heyman. Here links for Monday...
- The Rays are a "possible fit" for Mike Gonzalez, reports Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (on Twitter). Last week we heard that the left-handed reliever could sign within ten days.
- Albert Pujols told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that he’s comfortable in Anaheim even though he hasn’t hit like a $240MM player since signing with the Angels.“Why not? This is my family,” he said. “These guys are my family. I feel pretty comfortable.”
- Ken Davidoff of the New York Post suggests the Tigers could release Delmon Young to make a statement about the conduct they expect from their players without hurting their team in the standings.
- Jim Callis of Baseball America will be very surprised if the Royals don't select a college pitcher with their top pick in the upcoming amateur draft. Callis suggests the Royals could take Louisiana State right-hander Kevin Gausman with the fifth overall selection.
Mike Axisa contributed to this post.
Guerrero's lack of defensive skills at this point in his career make him a curious fit for any National League team, but if his bat is up to the task he could be used as an effective late-game pinch hitter. Guerrero registered the weakest offensive season of his career with the Orioles in 2011 but still hit a respectable .290/.317/.416 with 13 home runs. He was used exclusively as a DH by the Orioles, however, and has just 20 appearances in the field during regular season play dating back to 2009.
Even late in the offseason, Guerrero was said to be seeking $5MM, but won't sniff that figure now. Johnny Damon, also said to be seeking $5MM, recently signed with the Indians for $1.25MM. Even that will likely be more than Guerrero can hope to obtain, as Damon will play the outfield regularly in Cleveland. Guerrero switched agents late in the offseason and is now represented by Proformance.
Free agent designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero has changed agencies, MLBTR's Tim Dierkes has learned. Proformance now represents the slugger, who had previously been represented by Fern Cuza of SFX.
Guerrero intends to play in 2012, and would consider signing with a Japanese team. He drew interest from the Indians late last month and he appeared to intrigue the Marlins earlier in the offseason. Guerrero has 2,590 hits, 449 homers and a .318/.379/.553 line in 16 big league seasons. In 590 plate appearances with the Orioles last year, the nine-time All-Star posted a .290/.317/.416 line with 13 homers.
MLBTR's Agency Database offers a complete, updated look at Proformance's client list.
Cleveland GM Chris Antonetti downplayed the Indians' interest in Vladimir Guerrero this morning, according to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer (Twitter links). The Indians watched the free agent designated hitter hit and field yesterday in the Dominican Republic, but they don't necessarily have serious interest.
"Vladdy wants to keep playing. He asked if we wanted to see him work out. We worked him out," Antonetti said.
Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes.com hears that the Indians will work Guerrero out again today, which could be an indication that yesterday's workout went well (Twitter link). There doesn’t appear to be a fit between the Indians and Guerrero, ESPN.com’s Buster Olney tweeted earlier today. Carrying two DH types would create a roster crunch and Travis Hafner isn’t going anywhere.
Vladimir Guerrero worked out in front of Indians scouts at the team's Dominican Republic academy, reports Enrique Rojas of ESPN Deportes Los Angeles. A club representative declined to confirm that the workout took place, but sources tell Rojas that Guerrero was fit and that the Tribe has "a genuine interest" in the veteran slugger.
Guerrero has received little interest from Major League teams this offseason but his agent Fern Cuza recently said his client wanted to play in 2012 and would even explore playing in Japan. Cleveland is known to be looking for a right-handed bat to help balance out its lefty-heavy lineup, but Guerrero is a defensive liability in the outfield and thus would be limited to being a part-time DH or as a pinch-hitter.
As I wrote last month for Roto Authority, the Indians are already juggling a number of options between their DH, first base and left field slots. Signing Guerrero to be part of a righty-lefty DH platoon with Travis Hafner would limit the playing time for Shelley Duncan and Matt LaPorta, but if Guerrero is able to recapture a bit of his old form, I think that's a sacrifice the Tribe would happily make. Guerrero is a career .322/.400/.572 hitter against left-handed pitching.
Vladimir Guerrero intends to play this season, agent Fern Cuza confirmed to Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com (Twitter link). If the 37-year-old doesn't have a job by the time Spring Training ends, he'll explore opportunities in Japan.
Guerrero has 2,590 hits, 449 homers and a .318/.379/.553 line 16 seasons into a career that will probably deliver him to Cooperstown soon after he retires. In 590 plate appearances with the Orioles last year, the nine-time All-Star posted a .290/.317/.416 line with 13 homers.
The Yankees signed Orlando Hernandez to a four-year, $6.6MM contract on this date 14 years ago. El Duque posted a 3.96 ERA in six seasons with New York and also made a number of memorable postseason starts as the Yankees won three consecutive World Series titles. Hernandez expressed interest in making a comeback as recently as last year, before officially retiring in August. Here are today's links...
- Agent Fern Cuza told Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports that Vladimir Guerrero “still wants to play.” Guerrero is waiting the right opportunity and has a strong preference for contenders (Twitter links).
- Free agent first baseman Derrek Lee is open to the right opportunity and doesn’t plan to officially retire, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets.
- Negotiations between the Royals and Alex Gordon are in their early stages, but are expected to pick up later this spring, according to Rosenthal. Gordon will almost certainly look to sign for more than $55MM, the current Royals record, Rosenthal writes.
- It’s too early to predict which team will select high school right-hander Lucas Giolito, according to Jim Callis of Baseball America (on Twitter). Giolito sprained the ulnar collateral ligament in his pitching elbow yesterday.