Since the beginning of the offseason, the Texas Rangers have been in search of a right-handed, DH type bat. They had a trade worked out with the Boston Red Sox for Mike Lowell, but that trade was nixed and they have looked at free agents like Jermaine Dye and Vladimir Guerrero.
Yesterday, they finally found their right-handed bat.
According to MLB.com’s T.R. Sullivan, the Rangers have signed former Los Angeles Angles of Anaheim DH/OF Vladimir Guerrero to a one-year, $5 million contract plus incentives.
Guerrero becomes the third former Angel to sign with a division rival this offseason. Guerrero will join Darren Oliver in Texas and Chone Figgins signed with the Seattle Mariners earlier in the offseason.
This is a pretty interesting move by the Rangers. If I had my choice between Guerrero or Dye, I would have chosen Dye. I just think at this point in their careers, Dye is the better option. But I have no idea what Dye was asking for or if he is still searching for a multi-year deal.
Vlad is a shell of his former-self at this point. He will be 35 in February, his OPS has dipped three years in a row, he runs like Mark Eaton towards the end of Eaton’s career, and he only played in 100 games last year.
I don’t think Vlad has much left in the tank. We all saw last year in the playoffs he couldn’t catch up to good fastballs and he can no longer hit the bad pitch out of the strike zone on a consistent basis like he used to.
Perhaps he can find the fountain of youth in Arlington, where a lot of hitters come alive playing in that hitter friendly ballpark. I would guess Vlad will hit fifth or sixth in the Rangers’ lineup and serve as their primary DH in 2010.
While the Rangers certainly do have a talented roster, they have collected too many high risk, high reward players for my liking. Just think about all the injury prone players they have on their roster.
Josh Hamilton, Ian Kinsler, Jarrod Saltalamacchia, Rich Harden, Matt Harrison, Frank Francisco, and Guerrero. Those are a lot of players and star players to worry about over the course of a 162 game schedule.
We have seen in the past–especially last year–injuries taking there toll on the Rangers as the season progresses. 2010 looks to be more of the same for Texas.
Guerrero will be entering his 15th year in the major leagues and has a career .321 average with 407 home runs and won the MVP award in 2004 with the Angels.
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