Well, isn’t this interesting, in a whole lot of ways…

He adds this about the terms…

So… there’s that.

On the field, I think we’re talking about a rather inconsequential signing, frankly. But in the hearts and minds of a lot of people– unfortunately, especially people who aren’t embarrassed like a normal goddamn person to love a Canadian connection for the sake of it, or just ones who are such casual fans that they’re thrilled to see a recognizable name on the roster– this is great news. And I guess I count myself among that giant group, even though I’m wary of the possibility of watching one of my favourite players as an absolute husk of his former self.

But still… Vlad!

Now, there’s no guarantee that Vladimir Guerrero will ever even actually play for the Jays at this point, but if he does, here’s what I think we can expect: Rajai Davis goes back to the more appropriate role of pinch runner/defensive replacement in left field, Ben Francisco– who I’m not convinced isn’t better than Guererro at this point– probably doesn’t have a place on this team, and Adam Lind probably doesn’t have a place facing left-handed pitching.

I’m obviously fine about the latter– literally, or as close to literally as possible, anyone could hit left-handers better than Lind has over the last two-plus year. And I think the first one makes sense as well, I think. But… as much as Ben Francisco is really only nominally a guy who can play defence and really doesn’t make a whole lot of sense to have on the roster, does Vlad actually fit any better?

Vlad had 429 plate appearances against left-handers last year with Baltimore, and he while he wasn’t Adam Lind terrible, he was pretty terrifically bad. A .311 wOBA, .098 ISO, and a .708 OPS against what should be his preferred opponents– however, in 2010 he destroyed lefties, with a .401 wOBA, .198 ISO, and a .932 OPS.

Basically, if he can maintain the level he performed at against lefties in 2011 he’s still better than Lind, and if he can give the Jays anything remotely resembling 2010 they’ll have found themselves a decent, cheap asset that’s going to– if you want to be cynical about it, and I do– tug at the heartstrings of just about every baseball fan in this half of the country.

Because, when he was with the Expos, Vlad was fucking great.

Thing is, this isn’t the same Vlad, and even the notion that at 37 he might be capable of reproducing what he did at 35– especially given that he also had a down year against left-handers in 2009– is a little bit rich. They don’t have to play him if he’s no good (though their use of Vlad’s possible soon-to-be-co-mascot, Omar Vizquel, suggests they may not feel the same way), there’s not much risk to giving him a shot, he doesn’t cost much, and I can’t imagine someone not being thrilled at the prospect of it actually working out. It’s just… I’m having a similarly hard time imagining it doing so.

But shit… if his being on the bench makes John Farrell more inclined to sit Adam Lind against a lefty than Ben Francsico being there does, it’s hard to see it as a terrible thing. Having flexibility is never bad. It’s just, let’s maybe not lose our shit over the possibility of him even getting here just yet. But yes… Vlad is a little bit cool– even at 37, and especially if you don’t have the obligation to run him out there for nearly 600 plate appearances, the way the Orioles did last season.

Parkes give his similar-looking two cents at Getting Blanked.

 

The Jays, FYI, have made the signing official via a team release. Image by Jose L. Marin/Getty.

Comments (110)

  1. Ugh

  2. i guess we know what their plan is if Lind continues to be awful

    • Your move, Adam Lind.

      • For once, Lind will have someone behind him in the organization that might, and I say might, take some AB’s away from Lind. Your move indeed Mr. Lind.

      • His move? 0-fer-4 … yep, he’s completely stoked at the impending Vladdy arrival.

        Keep going 0-fer-4 and we’ll see Vladdy sooner than later.

  3. Of course Vladdy should never play in the field, but I’d rather him as the DH vs. LH than Benny Fresh, Rajai, Lind or Thames, no?

    • I would be alright with them surgically attaching Vlad’s right arm onto Thames’ shoulder

  4. uh. okay. ’cause strikeouts aren’t something we have enough of. we definitely need more.

    • um…vlad has a career k-rate under 11%. that’s pretty good.

      it’s the walk rate (last 3 years, 2.9%, 5.4% and 4.7%) that is downright awful.

      still like the signing though.

      • I remember an at bat against the Jays a few years ago when Vladdy was in Texas, the count was full and it became a battle of how bad of a pitch could the Jays pitcher throw before Vlad finally couldn’t foul it off. After fouling off about 5 pitches that only Vladdy could get a bat on, he finally struck out and the camera cut to both dugouts where everyone was laughing hysterically.

        • ergo, hard to walk when you do things like that lol

        • I remember one game when he was with LA and he swatted a home run on a pitch that was maybe two and a half inches off the ground.

          It was a no-doubter, too.

          Just insane.

  5. Maybe he can take Ben Francisco’s spot on the bench. Only thing Francisco does is spot start at DH anyway. Vlad’s name in the lineup is sexier than Ben Francisco.

  6. I know its only a minor league deal, but this sure is odd.

  7. You know what, fuck it, this actually excites me. Even if it’s because of very old memories.

  8. Michael Garncarz: Jersey time!

  9. NO BATTING GLOVES!

    • I used to work for the Jays when it came out that Moises Alou (who didn’t wear batting gloves) used to piss on his own hands to keep them soft. It would make me laugh to no end watching autograph hounds shake his hands after he signed their crap.

      • You don’t piss on your hands to keep them soft genius.

        • He’s less intelligent than you because he doesn’t know the real reason why one would piss on their hands?

          • Moises obviously has an extensive collection of Portuguese man of war jellyfish and gets stung on a consistent basis, thus the reason for the hand-pissing

  10. Never had an OPS+ below 100. So why not?
    Low risk move. If it works then great, if not then oh well.

  11. Huh.

  12. Bat off the bench. Why not?

  13. There’s no risk here, so I don’t mind it at all.

    As Parkes said… this may mean that vs LH pitchers we see: Vlad at DH, EE at 1st, Lind on Bench. And for RHP we see Lind at 1st, EE at DH, Vlad on bench. Maybe Ben Francisco dumped?

    I’m fine with this. Rather see Vlad try to hit lefties than Lind.

  14. If he’s willing to be strictly a platoon player and pinch hitter…what’s the harm? I’d rather see him bat 5th or 6th against LHP than Ben Francisco.

    Also, it would give them a legit RH bat on the bench to pinch hit for Lind/Rasmus/Thames in late innings if need be. This would presumably allow Farrell to get rid of his stiffy for a L/R/L/R/L/R lineup.

    All in all, a good, low risk move.

    • The only way he ever gets a full time job again is maybe next year when the AAAstros move to the AL and the want a cheap DH.

    • That’s what I was thinking, after Farrell finally admitted to himself that EE needed to be in cleanup and his precious god damn L/R thing was now foiled, he panicked like a teenage girl getting her first period and immediately went to AA to get someone who can pinch hit in the later innings for a left handed bat against lefty pitching.

      • Literally insane.

        He panicked, after waiting a month and a half to panic.

        Do you hear yourself?

        • I was obviously kidding. Just being sarcastic out of the frustration of having it take this long for Lind to move out of the clean up position, and Farrell being such a curmudgeon about the L/R batting order.

          That being said, it will be nice to potentially have a legit bat come off the bench and face a lefty late in a game in relief of Lind, if Lind is going to strictly be a platoon player from here on out.

  15. Oh no

    I’m not going to be able to read this site anymore for all the hate of the BIG BAD VLADDY DADDY!!!

    FUCK YA!

  16. If he can hit Lefty’s, this likely means he would DH against them while EE plays first. Bye-bye Francisco, you were redundant anyway.

    I like this as a RH bat depth move, assuming he hits well enough to make the club.

    • why would you assume Francisco would be the one let go? he’s played well and he at least has a position. plus he’s around a career 800 OPS player in his peak. he’s a much safer bet than Vlad or Lind, for that matter.

      • I’m making the assumption that if Vlad gets the call, it’s because AA believes he’s a better RH bat than Francisco. Rajai is a better base stealer and defender so that leaves Francisco with no area in which he excels better than anyone else which makes him redundant. It’s entirely possible that Vlad doesn’t show much bat and Ben would stick around.

        By the way, saying he’s a “career 800 OPS player in his peak” doesn’t make any sense. You mean his career best is .800 OPS? If that’s the case, then I could go look up Vlad’s best OPS but that wouldn’t have any more relevance than Francisco’s peak OPS.

  17. Assuming this all works out and Vlad gets called up, it will be interesting to see if Lind continues to start at first against righties (as opposed to DH). Presumably, Vlad is there to be the righthanded part of a platoon with Lind. If this is the case, this would present a problem on days Lind gets a start at 1b and the opponent brings in a lefty to face Lind in later innings with the game on the line. If you use Vlad, then you get just 1 PA from him and have to use someone else (Vizquel??) at 1B afterwards. Presumably, this means Edwin starts getting the lion’s share of defensive assignments at 1b.

  18. Because of this being a minor league deal, this is nothing but awesome. Hopefully he can be a great shell of his former self.

  19. He hit .290 with 13 HR’s last season for the O’s…nothing wrong with that bat coming off the bench or DH-ing against lefties. (.291 with 11 HR against lefties last season).

  20. Lind is a platoon guy at best, Vlad should be able to help crushing lefties

    JoBau, EE, Vlad is quite an offensive 3-4-5 force for any AL LHP to face in an inning.

    Another option is to put JoBau at 1B, Snider in RF, not sure when will we see Snider in TO this yr after Vlad signs here?

  21. VLADDY DADDY IS A BLUE JAY.

    Is he washed up? Of course.

    Am I still excited? hell yeah. It’s a 1 year minor league deal. If he sucks, it’s no risk. Nothing you can possibly be upset about. If this means no more Lind against Lefties, i’m all for it.

    • This is one of those I’m excited and I don’t know why moments.

    • i dont like the calls for Ben Francisco to be released. if you can trade him fine. but the guy has value and has performed with the Jays. he’s a career .762 OPS’er and is in his peak. and he can play the field.

      considering both EE and Bautista can play first. Lind is way more superfluous than Francisco.

      the Jays should see this weekend if the Twins will take Lind for Liriano straight up. ;) change of scenery and all that crap

      • Bang on about Francisco. The Phillies held out and they got that huge bounty of Frank Gailey for him. Surely the Jays could do at least as well!

        • not sure if you’re mocking me or not. either way:

          trading Francisco or Lind for a LHP minor leaguer with a high K rate like Gailey at least gives you something for the millions you have to pay Francisco and Lind.

          even if that’s an innings eater or a reliver at AA or AAA to protect your more valuable assets. it’s something.

    • I agree…he may not be the same player…but he’s still Vladdy. I’m sure he’ll give us a few of those classic Vlad moments :D EXCITED!

  22. I like this very much considering getting another bat right now via trade isn’t likely. Fransisco for the most part has been a non-entity. He was nice insurance to have, but with Davis getting pretty much the entirety of the 4th outfielder playing time he wasn’t much of a net positive for the team.

    I think this also says huge things about the clubs attitude in regards to Adam Lind. Have they finally come around to the realization that he just doesn’t hit lefties well? It certainly seems that way. If they do in fact add Vladdy to the big league club at some point I’d view that as a pretty aggressive move. They certainly don’t seem like they are sitting back and taking things as they are once they’ve had time to evaluate the situation properly.

    Not that it’s likely, but I’ also heard a couple of days ago that his legs are in better shape than they have been the last couple of years. Who knows if it’s accurate or not but there’s always the upside there for time in the outfield. It’s not like replacing Thames at times would be a huge loss defensively.

    • Are you saying the jays dont need to acquire another bat now because they got guerrero? I would have to disagree if that was the case. This is not the guerrero of even 5 years ago. Plus, he has never been a patient hitter so im not sure how he solves the obp problems they have.

      • Not at all, I am saying that the trade market is dead right now from all accounts and likely to be dead for a few more weeks. This solves that problem and all it costs them is some cash.

        The easy thing for management to do would be to wait until the trade deadline and make do with what they have. That’s been their way of doing things in years past. Imo it’s nice to see they are trying something different.

  23. My first thought was he goes to DH. EE goes to first. Lind, he is dealt for a pitcher..

  24. Jays get another future Hall-of-Famer who now gets to put “Blue Jays ’12″ on his plaque.

    Total Cost: $1.3 million, and quite likely significantly less if he doesn’t get called up anytime soon. Cool for the franchise, and hey, it’s not like that money was going to get spent on prospects or anywhere else remotely useful. Besides, Jays will recoup some of that cash when Vlad goes into the HOF (if he gets called up). Not much, granted, but it’s not like the Expos are there to reap the financial windfall.

    Besides, I’m sure he’s just injury depth. We’ve been rather fortunate regarding the lack of injuries to our position players. We don’t have an injury replacement for 1B/DH, unless you want to try David Cooper there, so that’s where Vlad fits.

    And at this point I don’t think too many people would mind an injury to Lind. Vlad can’t possibly be worse than Lind, can he?

    • Just thought of something–I wonder if the Vlad signing is about the Jays trying to extend their reach into Quebec?

      It might possibly have been a decision factor, no?

      • highly unlikely. i think major league baseball is pretty much dead in Quebec after what Selig and Loria did to the Expos.

        but it is true that AA has expressed his affection and admiration for Vlad.

        • The Jays have Jacques Doucet and Rodger Brulotte doing baseball coverage this year, which is a new thing. Will be curious to see how the new duo can extend awareness in Quebec.

          Rodger with a D Brulotte: Calisse, regardez-ca, ils ont nommé le centre Rogers mais il n’ont pas ajouté le D dans mon nom? C’est quoi ça tabernac?

        • As an ex montrealer & lifelong expos fan, this is a brilliant move. The french media in montreal is already reporting the news. TVA sports which is part of Quebecor – Toronto Sun, broadcasts 60 games in french this year. Expos fans will be very excited to see Vladdy in a Jays uniform. It’s shocking that Vladdy at 37 can be a better bat against LHP than Lind. Looking at last year’s stats with Baltimore, with a 290 avg he is better than most jays. In the offseason AA was oposed to signing Vladdy, but at the price of 1.3 millillion it’s a steal.

          Can’t wait to see him a jays uniform. Unfortunately due to weight gain over the last 20 years my daughter will wear the vladdy jersey.

  25. problem is that vlad hit lefties worse than righties last year, but he does have a career ops of 1.011 in skydome!

    • He has still OPSed nearly 200 points higher against LHP than Lind from 2009-2011 (a period where Vlad has basically been a shell of his former self, and had one foot out of the league, the entire time).

      This a vastly superior option against LHP, who happened to post reverse splits last season and is signed to a minor-league deal. This is the opposite of a problem.

  26. maybe alex has a lind for trumbo trade lined up

    • That doesn’t make any sense for the Angels, since Trumbo is younger, cheaper, better, under team control for longer, and capable of playing OF and 3B in addition to 1B.

      • Pretty sure that was sarcasm bro…you know, because they took Vernon off our hands?

        • Haha, well I hope so. I guess I should give people the benefit of the doubt, but I made the mistake of listening to Jays Talk recently and heard a LOT of outrageous “Trade Lind for Player X” ideas where people definitely thought he had trade value for some reason.

    • I think that Adam Lind’s days as a full time 1B are over. Will he be in the opening day lineup in 2013?

      Fielder & Votto are no longer available.

  27. could havae been

  28. you people are stupid, this was obviously a move to give omar someone to speak spansih to on the bench.

  29. wouldn’t manny have been better

  30. He also adds that speed dimension that the Blue Jays have been lacking other than what they get with Rajai Davis.

  31. “there are no bad Minor league deals”

  32. Big daddy Vlad…wonder what he has left in the tank.

  33. He’s gotta be injury insurance. Or someone like Francisco gets moved.

    I don’t see him getting many at bats if he even gets on the roster.

    Meh

  34. What about me? What happened to the bench Lind, DH Thames, and bring me up to play LF?

    • You could still get rid of Lind, platoon Thames with Vladdy at DH, and give Snider everyday AB’s in LF.

      • Pray tell what on Earth you think Travis Snider has done to deserve everyday at bats in left field. Oh, besides have white skin.

  35. he still cant save games for us which is what we need

  36. Pretty meh acquisition at this point in vlads career. Sexy name but thats it. I doubt he helps the team much if at all. AA still needs to get another bat.

  37. This officially puts a heart in the stake in the theory that the Jays do not play in the big name, free agent space!

  38. You just worry about grlling some steaks on the BBQ son….youre time will come in 2017.

  39. In 36 at bats last season at the Sky Dome Vlady hit .361 with an OPS of .885.

  40. If this is AA’s middle of the order impact bat then I can hardly wait to find out who the front of the rotation starter that AA wanted to acquire will be.

    Wake me up when the Jays sign Jose Abreu.

  41. someone posted as stoeten at fangraphs.com , therefore I voted them down mostly because I wish we had a like/dislike button here.

  42. fuck, last year i watched vlad crawl around the bases , hope he can run. now is this the contact hitter for the hit and run plays in close game.farrell likes to use it especially with rajai at third, AA must be pissed that there is nobody to trade with

  43. AA misread the memo and is trying to get rid of the wrong Francisco

  44. This is fight fire with fire, Geezer Edition. The Yankees get a Pettitte, so the Jays counter with a Guererro. It’s mutually assured destruction for third place in the A.L. East.

  45. Watching Vlad at the plate is just F#$%#$ing fun to watch! But watching him run makes me want to take five pills of Advil because it looks like he is having many blood clots in his legs.

  46. “But shit… if his being on the bench makes John Farrell more inclined to sit Adam Lind against a lefty than Ben Francsico being there does, it’s hard to see it as a terrible thing.”

    BINGOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO.

  47. The pro-rated contract seems to be designed to get Guerrero up quick. There is no risk here-good signing in everyway, including player-development.

  48. “Because, when he was with the Expos, Vlad was fucking great.”

    Yup.

  49. Some of you guys need to cheer up. This is way cool! Imagine Vlady’s first AB/hit/RBI/HR at the Dome? Worth every penny! Overanalysing this move statistically takes all the fun out of it. Now I’m off to get my new #27 jersey…

  50. All fuckin shit. I’d rather see someone called up like Cooper to platoon with Lind and add to player development until trade time. This raiding old people’s homes or some other club’s infirmar…..enough!!

  51. infirmary

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