According to Ken Rosenthal, the Toronto Blue Jays have released Vladimir Guerrero after the 37 year old gave them a call me up or let me go ultimatum following last night’s Triple A game in Las Vegas. Guerrero is not retiring. Instead, he will look elsewhere for work at the Major League level.
#BlueJays release Vlad at his request, according to agent Bean Stringfellow. He wanted opportunity at major-league level. Not retiring.
— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) June 12, 2012
There was some confusion earlier surrounding whether or not Guerrero calling it quits meant retiring from baseball or merely opting out of his Minor League deal with the Blue Jays, which gave him that option yesterday. Still, his comments to reporter Hector Gomez aren’t likely to help his pursuit of another opportunity.
Promises made to me were not fulfilled. I am not a child. One day I heard one thing and the next day another. I left the team, right now I am at home in Anaheim. I was not treated as a professional. I am not a boy. I proved that I’m ready, I have nothing more to prove in the minors with the numbers that I put. Last night after the game I sent my letter of resignation to the organization. I am not a boy. I demand respect. Let me make it clear I did not take this decision lightly, and had warned it would if I was not satisfied.
This seems to be a rather large overstatement, considering what General Manager Alex Anthopoulos said to the press at the time of the Guerrero signing:
It’s strictly a matter of, there’s no such thing as a bad Minor League contract. There’s no guarantees on behalf of the club. There is no financial commitment. We continue to look for depth in all areas whenever we can. Any time we have a chance to get someone on a Minor League contract, we almost always explore it because you never know if someone can get lighting in a bottle.
We’re not adding anybody to the Major League roster. 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 look, how’s he going to perform, how he’s going to play. There is no risk and no downside and at a minimum it provides depth. Certainly, there’s the upside that he could play very well and be a factor for us.
I suppose there could’ve been promises made in private, but outside of last night’s performance, there was absolutely no reason to believe that Guerrero would offer anything of value at the Major League level, and giving in to his demands by calling him up would’ve quite simply been a mistake.