Update: there might be more to this than we first believed.
The prolific Rosensquirrel has the latest on this story, quoting Vlad’s agent Bean Stringfellow. A later tweet suggests a more careful wording, indicating Vlad hasn’t “retired” without saying anything about Vlad’s future with the Blue Jays.
Again: if he wants to come to the big leagues TODAY, the team has little use for him. Is two weeks in the minors going to kill him? Does he feel “ready” after one good night? Hard to say. More on this as it develops, said the blogger with a straight face.
Welp. The great Vlad experiment seems to be over. Various reports began popping up (looks like Halos Heaven had it first, with Wilner confirming above), indicating Vlad’s desire for quick passage to the big leagues doesn’t jibe with the Jays belief that he “can no longer hit” and “doesn’t offer anything to anyone” at this point of his career.
Sources indicate the team told Vlad he wouldn’t be up before the end of interleague, meaning another two weeks or so in the minors (the Jays conclude their NL road schedule on June 24th, after two series in Milwaukee and Miami).
Of course, any guarantees made to Vlad must be contingent on his ability to still hit and hit for power. As much fun as it is to watch a singular player with incredible contact skills, a slugger unable to slug (in the damn PCL of all places) leaves much to be desired. Ben Lindbergh’s great BP piece from yesterday showed the old Vlad Guerrerro willingness to swing at anything. When the bat speed isn’t what it was, sadly he just becomes an old man flailing at pitches in the dirt.
Which isn’t to say Guerrero wouldn’t rediscover his form after another few weeks of conditioning and timing. This move looks to be the decision of the player, all too aware of his own limitations. Patience was never a strong suit of the former Expos star, now it seems (reportedly) he ran out of patience on a return to the big leagues.
Update: Per a Jays team release the Jays have granted Guerrero’s request to release him from his contract with the club. He is once again a free agent, as the Vlad era ends for the Jays in a rather acrimonious way. Shitty deal, given what a good story it seemed like it would be, but… what were they going to do with him through interleague play in NL parks while still fighting to keep their heads in the race? Just waste the roster space because Vlad couldn’t take two extra weeks in Vegas? Pfft. – Stoeten