Vladimir Guerrero is an Oriole

Vladimir Guerrero has signed a one-year, $8 million contract with the Orioles of Baltimore. According to Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportes, the deal includes performance incentives and is still pending a physical.

The Orioles have loaded up on practically every power-hitting free swinger available to them on the free agent market this offseason. The question is where Guerrero will fit into a lineup that has already added Derrek Lee and Mark Reynolds this winter. With Nick Markakis in right and Adam Jones in center, Vlad’s playing destiny will most likely be in left field or as the designated hitter in Luke Scott’s stead.

If you can’t beat ‘em, sign them for $8 million. Guerrero has enjoyed more success against Baltimore than any other team in baseball. Over the last three years, he has nine homers and 30 RBIs in 98 at-bats against the Birds. Both of those numbers were the most Vlad had against any team. He’s no slouch at Camden Yards, either; he’s hit .389 there from 2008 to 2010.

Will Guerrero make the Orioles better? After shattering expectations for him in Texas, Guerrero came back to reality in the second half (.270 average/11 homers/ 45 RBI). He’s no spring chicken, either (he’ll turn 36 Wednesday), so assuming he’ll replicate last year’s 643 plate appearances in 2011 is being way too optimistic. His production is real, and the Orioles will give Vlad some good players to get on base in front of him. But living by “the three run homer” philosophy isn’t always the best strategy, and the Orioles pitching is not ready to compete in the AL East. One must wonder if all these moves are a vain attempt to appease a fan base that is desperate for the days of Cal Ripken

Fantasy impact: Vladimir Guerrero: .288 BA/ 24 HR/ 93 RBI/ 76 R/ 3 SB. Of all the places Vladimir could have landed, Baltimore seems like the best fit. They’ll let him swing until he can swing no more, and who knows, Vlad might surprise again in 2011.

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  1. me said...

    Not quite sold on the fact that Vlad wont get the same number of at-bats. There is no logic to assume he won’t bat the same number of times or any reason to believe his at-bats will fall off. There is no relation to at bats and aging one year. He showed no sign of falling off, and I think claims that he will are based on hot-air predictions. If You are going to make the point that he mashes at camden yards, why would you go on to make a point to devalue his contribution by saying his numbers will fall off? His age? Some injury we dont know about? Is there a relation to at-bats and aging from 35 to 36? Yes, people who get older tend to not produce as much, but given his DH position, why would you assume he wouldn’t be able to fulfill a complete season? If you are going to make a point about his contribution then do so, dont speculate that he might or might not do what he did in the past. You can do that about every player in MLB.

  2. Ben Pritchett said...

    “He showed no signs of falling off”. Did you read the second half split of a .270 AVG/11 HR/ 45RBI. That is a sign of falling off because he literally fell off. Granted it wasn’t an earthquake, but definitely enough to put his 2011 stats under a thicker microscope.

    My question for you would be, what is a good projection for Vlad in 2011? Remember that second half fade, and there’s no guarantee of only getting cushy designated hitter ABs. Chances are that Luke Scott will remain, and Guerrero will be playing the field. Yes, I pointed out his playing love for Baltimore and also said he could flourish. The other question marks are valid.

    My projection is better than his second half but not quite the overall season of 2010. He’s 36, and ABs and health should be in question for all players age 36 especially a guy who missed 64 days in 2009. Don’t get me wrong I like Guerrero, but he’s not without his bugaboos. That’s what all the “speculation” is about.

  3. Get real said...

    Vlad is not playing the field. If Vlad wanted to donate his whole salary to Orioles in an attempt to play the field they would decline. He is the DH and will play DH with maybe getting a game in the field once a blue moon. Luke Scott has been league average defensively in the outfield and is much better defensively than Vlad is at this point in their respective careers. Luke has also said he likes playing the field and would like to get back to playing the field.

    When Luke is not in the field then Pie is going to be in LF. Pie will also spell AJones in CF to give him a day off. They are going to have a very good rotation for DH/OF with Luke, Pie, Vlad to keep everyone fresh and getting playing time.

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