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Will the Rangers bring back Vladimir Guerrero for $9 million?

Nov 2, 2010, 11:49 AM EDT

World Series Rangers Giants Baseball AP

Vladimir Guerrero’s poor postseason performance has people questioning if the Rangers should exercise their half of his $9 million mutual option for 2011, but the truth is that should have been in question well before the playoffs even began.

Guerrero went 13-for-59 (.220) with zero homers and a measly .513 OPS in the playoffs, striking out 16 times while drawing just two walks. He looked bad, no doubt, but 59 at-bats shouldn’t be the driving force behind any decision. Unfortunately for Guerrero, he also finished the regular season by hitting just .278/.322/.426 in 69 games after the All-Star break.

And while Guerrero’s strong first-half production made headlines and his 115 RBIs convinced some people that he had an excellent season overall he finished with an .841 OPS in 152 games, which is a) 100 points below his career mark, and b) not particularly great for a terrible defensive outfielder forced to play almost exclusively designated hitter.

Among the 151 players who received enough plate appearances to qualify for the batting title this season Guerrero ranked 42nd in OPS. Certainly solid production, but far from special considering that group of 151 players includes guys who also bring something to the table defensively and he posted that .841 OPS in a hitter-friendly ballpark. Guerrero had a .796 OPS away from Texas.

Most of the discussions about whether or not the Rangers should bring back Guerrero for $9 million next season will no doubt focus on his postseason struggles because that came on the biggest stage and is fresh on everyone’s minds, but regardless of what he did in the playoffs the 35-year-old former MVP wasn’t looking like a $9 million player for 2011.

  1. Jonny 5 - Nov 2, 2010 at 12:45 PM

    In that picture. He’s thinking the exact same thing…… And he’s thinking his option doesn’t look too promising right now.

  2. BC - Nov 2, 2010 at 2:45 PM

    No way they should bring him back. He drove in 115 runs because Hamilton and Andrus were on base at least 2 or 3 times a game each. Note that his poor second half included about 25 games where Hamilton was injured. Not a chance I bring him back at $9 million.

  3. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Nov 2, 2010 at 2:48 PM

    From what I’ve read, he brings a solid clubhouse leadership to an otherwise mostly young team. But yeah, I’d go for Thome for a third of that cost instead. Jim could easily mash 25 or so homers in that park, and he’d bring the same kind of leadership.

  4. JBerardi - Nov 2, 2010 at 4:32 PM

    If the Rangers want an aging DH type, I’m sure plenty will be available for less than $9m on the open market.

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