Vlad the Impaler is bringing his talents to Baltimore.
For a year, that is. Andy MacPhail and company signed Vladimir Guerrero to a one year deal worth $8 million, with $3 million being deferred to future payments in ’15-’16. Guerrero was brought on to be the Orioles full time designated hitter, thus most likely pushing Luke Scott to left field to begin the 2011 season.
Coming off of a .300 year in Texas with 29 homeruns, while reaching the World Series with the Rangers (and ultimately losing to the Giants, the Orioles hope that Guerrero will bring the power bat presence to a lineup that has been missing such a specimen since Miguel Tejada got traded to the Astros in 2007.
The signing of the 2004 AL MVP and nine time all-star brought about some questioning from media and fans alike. With the set lineup before this signing including Luke Scott as the DH (whether he liked it or not) and Felix Pie/Nolan Reimold fighting for the left field job, bringing on Vlad seemed to confuse some, especially for such a steep price. For an Orioles team that supposedly won’t be contending this season, fans believed this to not only be a waste of the funds, but a major issue when it came to blocking a player like Reimold from getting an opportunity to get at-bats at the major league level.
All in all, the Vlad signing is a done deal, and we will have to watch the free swinging, goatee-bearing slugger hit 4th for the Orioles in 2011. Placing between Mike Piazza and Manny Ramirez on Baseball-Reference.com’s list of top batters of all time, we can only hope that Guerrero regains a bit of the pop in his bat he saw in the beginning of last year, opposed to the hitting abilities that seemed to tail off after the All-Star break. What we can say for sure is that Vlad will not be playing the field at any time during the season. The only time I could see this happening would be during interleague play. Honestly, I, as a fan, pray to not witness Vlad as an Orioles outfielder at any time. If you watched him during the World Series games in San Francisco, you understand why.
Fine. He can play the field if the Orioles make the World Series.