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Blue Jays sign Vladimir Guerrero to minor-league deal

May 10, 2012, 4:43 PM EDT

Vladimir Guerrero Getty Images

Vladimir Guerrero recently asked for and received tryouts with the Indians and Diamondbacks, but neither team decided to sign him.

However, the 37-year-old former MVP has finally found a taker: Ken Rosenthal of reports that Guerrero has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Blue Jays that will be worth a prorated share of $1.3 million if/when he reaches the majors.

For now Guerrero will head to extended spring training and try to convince the Blue Jays’ decision-markers that he’s not washed up after posting career-lows in on-base percentage (.317), slugging percentage (.416) and OPS (.733) in 145 games for the Orioles last season.

Guerrero is basically only a designated hitter option at this point because he can’t play the outfield regularly and is brutal defensively when he does, but Adam Lind has been terrible and the Blue Jays could potentially move Edwin Encarnacion to first base to open up the DH spot.

UPDATE: Jonah Keri of Grantland notes that Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos was an Expos fan/employee, so there might be a bit of nostalgia in the signing.

  1. 1943mrmojorisin1971 - May 10, 2012 at 4:55 PM

    I cannot stand Adam Lind. I hope AA swaps him for some pitching and we get to see Vlad on a regular basis in the DH spot.

  2. Detroit Michael - May 10, 2012 at 5:15 PM

    Given the choice between Adam Lind, Travis Snider, and Vlad Guerrero, would any of us really project that Vlad will be the best hitter for the rest of the season? If so, is the difference betweeen his production and Lind/Snider worth a prorated portion of $1.3 million?

    The Blue Jays have done incredibly good front office work the last few years, but this transaction isn’t likely an example of that.

  3. charlutes - May 10, 2012 at 5:26 PM

    This makes no sense to me. the jays don’t need a 37 year old dh to score runs, and the clubhouse is tight right now. ur gonna bring in a guy who hasn’t been playing baseball, offers nothing defensively and could potentially disrupt the clubhouse. hate it.

    • proudlycanadian - May 10, 2012 at 5:43 PM

      There are several younger players on the Jays who idolized Vlad when they were young. He would not be a disruption. AA is from Montreal and certainly is a fan; however, he would not call him up, if he did not think he was going to help the team.

      The players on the bubble include Francisco and Thames. Do not forget that E5 got reps in LF during the spring.

      • paint771 - May 10, 2012 at 5:51 PM

        Not sure how on the bubble Thames is, save to Blue Jays fans who still see Snider as a superstar ready to break out. Thames is hitting .270 with a .715 OPS, which puts him in the upper half of lineup hitters the moment – really, about tied with Lawrie behind Johnson and EE, and has done about everything the organization has asked of him. He’s been a pretty solid player. I’d say Snider is more on the bubble for staying with the organization at all than Thames is on the bubble for a starting spot.

        Agree with you on Vlad though.

  4. paint771 - May 10, 2012 at 6:00 PM

    I don’t hate it. My baseball brain tells me that this might be setting up a deal involving shipping Lind out, or at the very least platooning him and Vlad and setting EE up at first, which is weirdly the one position he’s not terrible at and still hits decently when he plays.

    I think Aaron is short-shrifting Vlad’s hitting – even last year for the Orioles he still hit better than half of the Blue Jays lineup is now, and post All Star break in 2011 he was an over 300 hitter. He’s not 2004 Vlad by any stretch, but he’s also not dead weight, particularly in a lineup most of whom aren’t hitting any better than he did last year (and many of whom are hitting significantly worse). Depending on who gets moved where, he could still be a very decently productive addition. For 1.3 mil and not much else out there for now, it’s not a very high risk gamble. If he looks like sh*t, the Jays certainly aren’t married to him.

    My non-baseball brain thinks: Cool! Vladimir Guerrero getting one last shot, in Toronto! I think I was agitating for that in like 2008.

    • paint771 - May 10, 2012 at 6:07 PM

      And come on, who won’t be rooting for the guy. /non-baseball brain

    • paint771 - May 10, 2012 at 6:15 PM

      Final thought: for as much as Blue Jays sluggers are swinging at pitches a foot off the plate lately, as least now they have one that knows how to do it right.

      I’ll be here all night folks.

    • proudlycanadian - May 10, 2012 at 7:26 PM

      I got a chuckle out of a comment on the Toronto Star’s web site. One Jays fan suggested trading Lind to the Brewers for Marcum. Given Marcum’s recent health issues and an injury to the first baseman for the Brewers, Milwaukee might go for it.

  5. charlutes - May 10, 2012 at 6:53 PM

    I hope you guys are right.

  6. charlutes - May 10, 2012 at 6:54 PM

    What the blue jays need is a bullpen.

    • cur68 - May 10, 2012 at 7:59 PM

      Late relief/closer is what.

      • foreverchipper10 - May 11, 2012 at 1:05 PM

        Sergio Santos should be back in 3 weeks or so.

  7. goldensombrero3000 - May 10, 2012 at 11:24 PM

    A visual I remember of Vladimir Guerrero when I was very young was seeing him nail a guy at the plate from right field and I remember it looking as if a pitcher throwning a fastball strike to the catcher except it was from right field.

    • goldensombrero3000 - May 10, 2012 at 11:26 PM


  8. riverace19 - May 11, 2012 at 2:55 AM

    Canadian: no freaking way!! Marcum is worth twice as much as Lind you are dreaming. Brewers probably are going to bring in Derrek Lee anyway

  9. proudlycanadian - May 11, 2012 at 8:47 AM

    I was reading this morning that the Jays were interested in Vlad during the winter, but backed off when his agent refused a minor league deal with an invite to spring training. After the agent was fired and replaced by an agent with a more realistic bent, the deal was struck.

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