Vladimir Guerrero: Baltimore Orioles Ink Vlad To Senseless Contract

Adam BernacchioAnalyst IIIFebruary 5, 2011

ARLINGTON, TX - OCTOBER 31:  Vladimir Guerrero #27 of the Texas Rangers reacts after he struck out in the seventh inning against the San Francisco Giants in Game Four of the 2010 MLB World Series at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington on October 31, 2010 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

I really can’t believe the Baltimore Orioles fell for it. I really can’t.

Here they were, rolling along this offseason. Rolling along and making solid moves like picking up Mark Reynolds, J.J. Hardy, etc… And now they pull this.


On Friday, the Orioles inked DH Vladimir Guerrero to a one-year, $8 million contract. According to FOXSports.com’s Ken Rosenthal, a significant portion of that salary is deferred.

I don’t care even if $6 of the $8 million is deferred. To give Guerrero $8 million is so ridiculous on so many levels.

The first level is that the Orioles really didn’t need Guerrero. The Orioles would have been just fine with Luke Scott at DH and a platoon of Nolan Reimold and Felix Pie in left field.

Last year, Guerrero produced a 2.6 WAR. Let’s say he produces that again in 2011—highly unlikely—but let’s pretend for a second. I will then say that I believe that the platoon of Pie and Reimold could have produced a combined 1.5 WAR in 2011.

So if my math serves me correctly, and I believe it does, the Orioles just paid $8 million for around one or 1.1 wins in 2011. That’s not good anyway you want to cut the mustard.

Also, the Orioles now have to expose Scott in LF. That’s going to leave a mark in the morning.

The second level is which Vlad are the Orioles getting? Are they getting the Vlad that was an MVP candidate in the first half of the 2010 season when he hit .319/.364/.554 with 20 HRs or are they getting the Vlad that hit .278/.322/.426 with nine HRs and ran like Mark Eaton in the second half?

My guess is they get the latter.

That’s why I thought when they offered him a contract in the $2-$3 million range, they absolutely made the right move. Vlad potentially could have been a low-risk, medium-reward signing. Now he is a a high-risk, medium-reward signing.

What happened between the point of when the Orioles offered him $3 million to the point they are at now, I’ll have no idea. It’s baffling at best.


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