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Blue Jays GM on signing Vladimir Guerrero: “I have no idea how he’s going to perform”

May 11, 2012, 11:19 AM EDT

vladimir guerrero getty Getty Images

After failing to find a big-league job Vladimir Guerrero agreed to a minor-league contract with Toronto yesterday, but the Blue Jays’ plans for the 37-year-old former MVP are unclear.

In fact, general manager Alex Anthopoulos basically told reporters that Guerrero isn’t even in their plans:

This isn’t someone right now that we’re prepared to say is going to be up in Toronto. I have no idea how he’s going to perform. There’s no point in even spending time on that because I don’t even know what we have. I have no idea how Vlad looks. I have no idea what kind of shape he’s in, other than from what I’ve heard.

It’s as if he’s starting spring training. It’s a minor-league contract with no risk and no downside. At a minimum it provides depth. Certainly there’s the upside that he could play very well and be a factor for us.

In other words, Adam Lind can wait a little while longer before looking over his shoulder for Guerrero, who signed a non-guaranteed contract worth a prorated share of $1.3 million if/when he reaches the majors.

At first glance his .290 batting average last season suggests Guerrero remains a productive hitter, but he managed just 13 homers and 17 walks in 145 games for career-lows in on-base percentage (.317), slugging percentage (.416), and OPS (.733). He also can’t play the outfield regularly at this point and hasn’t faced big-league pitching since last September, so Anthopoulos is right to downplay Guerrero’s likely impact.

  1. mydadyourmom - May 11, 2012 at 11:27 AM

    Still, now he can wear a Jays cap when he enters the Hall. Sweet.

  2. antlerclaws - May 11, 2012 at 2:39 PM

    My prediciton (and going out on a limb here): Vlad will swing at everything that comes within 5 feet of the strike zone; will connect every once in a while to send one DEEP; will strike out A LOT; and look like he’s a thousand years old any time he has to run.

    • antlerclaws - May 11, 2012 at 2:39 PM

      Prediction.

  3. K. Harker - May 11, 2012 at 5:49 PM

    I don’t see why everyone thinks this is such a bizarre move. If Vlad can work his way into shape and find a hint of the 2009 model, we have a dangerous bat in our line-up. If he can’t get into playing shape we’ve still introduced him to the organaization. The guy clearly wants to stay in baseball and has a reputation as one of the classiest and most-loved of his era. If he can’t make the big club, maybe AA hires him on as a roving hitting consultant in the minors, maybe we hire him as a scout in Latin America (how good do the Jays look to a Dominican kid with Bautista as our face and Vlad as our talent scout, we become the team top Latin talent wants to play for). Even if he replaces Ben Francisco as our right handed bat on the bench, you get a ton of veteran presence on a young and talented team. The Jays are, wisely, expanding their efforts in Latin America and this gives us a lot more strength in that regard. I’m pulling for him to have enough left in the tank to have an impact playing, but, if not, I hope he stays with the organization.

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