It must be remembered that the team handed him a Minor League contract, which allows them to watch Guerrero as he returns to game shape, makes stops at all of their Minor League affiliates (don’t think for a minute that the Vancouver Canadians, New Hampshire Fisher Cats and Las Vegas BABIPers aren’t pleased as punch right now with the Blue Jays).
This isn’t the Baltimore Orioles giving him a guaranteed contract. This isn’t even guaranteed money. It’s a prorated $1.3 million that the team has promised to pay him if he’s not a bust on his let’s-make-the-affiliates-happy tour which will likely translate into the Blue Jays paying him around half of the $1.3 million sum when all is said and done.
In terms of playing time, this also isn’t anything like Guerrero playing for the Orioles last season. Toronto didn’t sign the former Montreal Expos superstar to be an everyday player. There will be no situations in which manager John Farrell must find a place for him in the field to get his bat in the lineup. Those days are behind Vladimir Guerrero. At this point in his career, the best a signing team can hope for is a platoon designated hitter who can offer something in terms of a useful bat off the bench.
A worst case scenario has Guerrero looking like the Vladdy of old during his Minor League tour, continuing his revival during his first few appearances for the big club, and then getting too much playing time as regression and decline rear their ugly heads. Even then, the only reasonable place for him in the lineup would see him steal at bats from Adam Lind, who has been so disastrous against left handed pitching, Guerrero wouldn’t have to do much at all to be an upgrade.
The real issue here though, is that we shouldn’t be talking about Guerrero being an upgrade over Lind. His bat should already be pulled from the lineup against left handed pitchers, and unless the team is thinking about straight platoons for both Eric Thames in left field and Colby Rasmus in center field, we must ask why Rajai Davis or Ben Francisco aren’t already in the role that Guerrero could eventually fill.
As we looked at yesterday, both players probably offer at least as much value against left handed pitching as a 37 year old Guerrero at this stage in his career. However, what basically amounts to a no risk contract, makes it worth the while of the team to see what the vintage vehicle has left in the gas tank. In many ways, the deal that was struck with Guerrero simply gives the Blue Jays first dibs on the player.
For more on the Vladdy signing, check out DJF.
And The Rest
The Washington Nationals need a center fielder. The Los Angeles Angels have a roster entirely comprised of outfielders. These two dance partners are finally getting together it seems. [Yard Barker]
After striking out 13 batters over six innings, we should ask what Stephen Strasburg’s usage plan will be for the Washington Nationals. [The Book Blog]
The Philadelphia Phillies are looking for a reversal of fortunes by calling up Jake Diekman, Hector Luna and Raul Valdes. Yeah, good luck with that. [Comcast Sportsnet]
Here’s how the Phillies bullpen has performed to date in terms of shutdowns and meltdowns. [Crashburn Alley]
There’s something about cons that I find particularly appealing, and this is a pretty good one: the imaginary Montaous Walton. [OnMilwaukee.com]
Let’s all get in outrage over a pitcher going golfing on an off day. [Boston Herald]
Jeff Passan is as outraged as I am surprised at his ability to leap from assumption to assumption. [Yahoo! Sports]
For what it’s worth, I’d rather pitchers golf on their off days than assault women or get DUIs.
— Cee (@CeeAngi) May 11, 2012
It’s that time of the year again: Mock Draft Volume One. [Baseball America]
A Phoenix high school would rather forfeit the championship game than risk losing again to a team that fields a female second baseman. [AZCentral.com]
Zack Greinke: incredibly good. [Disciples Of Uecker]
The Chicago White Sox are stru-guggling against left handed pitchers. [South Side Sox]
For Justin Smoak and the Seattle Mariners, what’s happening shouldn’t be happening. [Lookout Landing]
Pat Burrell was a known quantity in Philadelphia. [McCovey Chronicles]
How would a new edition of the DJF Podcast suit you? [DJF]
In the latest episode of The Getting Blanked Show, we sit around and talk a ton of shit about the Minnesota Twins before moving on to make our weekend #PropHate bets. [Getting Blanked]