According to Jeff Zrebiec of the Baltimore Sun, the Orioles have agreed to a 1 year, $8 million deal with free agent DH Vladimir Guerrero. The merits of this move have been hotly debated on Baltimore Sports Report, as well as on sports radio shows and other forums. Now we will get to see whether or not the aging slugger has much left in the tank. He certainly adds another veteran bat to a line-up that appears to be significantly improved over 2010. Vlad has a proven track record of being a run producer and will likely man the 4 spot in the Orioles line-up. The move also creates more depth and line-up flexibility for manager Buck Showalter.
I am a bit surprised that the Orioles increased their offer as much as they did. The club’s initial offer was reported to have been in the $3.5 to $4 million range, with incentives that could have earned Guerrero up to $5 million. Perhaps the reports were erroneous, or perhaps the Orioles saw an opportunity to add the slugger to their line-up and felt they needed to up their offer to get a deal done. Either way this move will please some who called for his signing, and disappoint others who felt that Guerrero adds little to the club.
What is your verdict? Did the O’s pay too much? Or were they smart to get the deal done?