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A Baltimore Sun writer thinks the O’s should sign Vlad

Jan 23, 2011, 2:03 PM EDT

San Francisco Giants v Texas Rangers, Game 4 Getty Images

The Orioles don’t have a deal with Vladimir Guerrero, as Jim Bowden reported Saturday, but they are at least looking into signing the aging slugger.

The Baltimore front office undoubtedly spent the weekend sorting out positives and negatives.  Vlad might hit well at Camden Yards, but bringing him aboard would mean moving Luke Scott to the outfield, where he hasn’t played regularly since 2008 because of issues with range.  Then there’s the other side, suggesting that it might be worth the potential power surge if Guerrero is willing to take an incentive-driven contract with a low base salary.  But the Rangers are also thought to have some interest and the Angels could be open to a reunion, so it’s possible that his asking price hasn’t completely tumbled into a desperation level.

Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun was exploring the pros and cons this morning over on his blog “The Schmuck Stops Here.”

If the price is right, I think Guerrero would be a low-risk gamble with a high upside. If he can jack up one more season like last year, he could be the final piece in a potentially explosive batting order that could truly change the subject at Oriole Park this summer.

Mark Reynolds might put together a good season, J.J. Hardy might bounce back, Nick Markakis could turn his power numbers north, Adam Jones could reach stardom and Matt Wieters may figure it out.  If that all happens, the Orioles will greatly improve.  But those are big “ifs” and there are a lot of them.  Plus, there’s a ceiling for their success in the American League East anyway if things do finally go right.

The O’s have the ability to make strides and the addition of Guerrero could help fill a few more seats at one of baseball’s best ballparks.  Maybe that’s worth it.  But it seems more likely that it will be a waste of the club’s financial resources.  Pumping that money into the draft and the international market would be wiser.

  1. pisano - Jan 23, 2011 at 2:16 PM

    He would be good for some power, but defensively he might wind up in traction. He will kill you with his glove. Purely a DH at this stage of the game.

  2. Jeremiah Graves - Jan 23, 2011 at 4:11 PM

    They’re not going to win the East. They’re probably just battling with the Blue Jays for fourth place, so why waste the money and at-bats on Guerrero?! They’ve got Pie/Reimold/Scott who need to find at-bats between LF/DH. There’s no need to limit the opportunities for those three by bringing Vlady into the mix, especially if it would mean the defense takes a hit as well.

    • proudlycanadian - Jan 23, 2011 at 4:45 PM

      Baltimore is in a 1 horse race for last place in the Al East. Go ahead, sign the old fart, he needs a job.

  3. billybeaneismyhero - Jan 23, 2011 at 4:45 PM

    All of those things you mentioned may happen, but it won’t mean a thing unless the Orioles pitching continues to develop. Right now the rotation is Brian Matusz followed by four question marks.

  4. Old Gator - Jan 23, 2011 at 4:47 PM

    I think Team Angelos may be battling the Razed for fourth instead. The Feather Lice served some notices on the division last year but it doesn’t sound like many folks were paying attention.

    And as far as Luke Scott is concerned, I’ve heard worse ideas than moving that idiot to the outfield. Whatever his range is in that sense, it has to be greater than the range of thoughts inside his granitic skull.

  5. randomdigits - Jan 23, 2011 at 7:31 PM

    “Pumping that money into the draft and the international market would be wiser.”

    The O’s appear to have separate budgets and monies not spent on player contracts will not be allocated to increase spending in the international market or the draft. At least not that I have seen, payroll dropped significantly under AM and the amount spend elsewhere hardly moved.

    “Right now the rotation is Brian Matusz followed by four question marks.”

    Yes he outpitches his periphials year in and year out but Guthrie has posted a sub 4.00 ERA in three of the last four seasons, in the AL East. His WHIP has also been under 1.25 in those same years.

    • Panda Claus - Jan 24, 2011 at 8:52 AM

      The rotation will probably be the true difference maker in this season, although I too am not ready to concede to the Matusz and the Question Marks rotation. Spending that extra couple of million to sign Guthrie and Scott to avoid a contentious arbitration seems more prudent to me. Dropping $5-6M per year for extra relief pitching is one thing, but going to arbitration with these two over essential $2M is short-sighted.

      Scott as a LF also counters to some of the defensive upgrades they’ve made in the infield. Not to mention that adding Vlad (as DH) while sitting Pie/Reimold (LF) further reduces team speed.

      It doesn’t add up to me.

  6. Jonny 5 - Jan 23, 2011 at 10:14 PM

    Someone else thinks the Phillies should sign him. Maybe they should? With the pitching involved, he may not nee to field too many hits to the OF

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