Posted by: Larry Smith Jr. | February 5, 2011

Orioles Add Vlad

Year    PA    BA    OBP    SLG    wRC+    WAR
2010    643    .300    .345    .496    121    2.6
2009    407    .295    .334    .460    106    0.8
2008    600    .303    .365    .521    128    2.6
Career    8469    .320    .383    .563    139    61.7


The Baltimore Orioles continued their off-season long quest to add punch to their offense yesterday when they agreed to a one year deal with Vladimir Guerrero reportedly worth $8 million.   This seems like something of an overpay for Guerrero when Manny Ramirez recently signed for $2m and Jim Thome for $3m, both players who are probably preferable buys to Guerrero at this point.  In addition, Guerrero was really the only remaining viable DH bat on the market.   That said, it seems that starting with the Mark Teixeira courtship the Orioles have been virtually begging players to take their money to play in Baltimore, and given the fact that they only gave Guerrero a one year deal and did not give it out until February when the free agent cupboard was essentially bare this type of overpay is not the most catastrophic expenditure of funds.

Guerrero is coming off of something of a bounceback 2010 season after looking close to done in the wake of the 2009 campaign.  It is highly possible that this was something of a mirage — His road wOBA in 2010 was .344, or exactly one point higher than his 2009 total in Los Angeles — However, the smaller confines of Camden Yards offer similar offensive advantages as Arlington, with a wOBA factor of 105 for right handed batters according to stat corner, as opposed to Texas’ 106.   In addition, the home run factor for right handed batters in Baltimore is much higher than that of Texas, so the move to Camden could be a boon to Guerrero’s power, which is his largest remaining skill.   Still, Guerrero is clearly not the player he once was at the plate, proved late last season that he is no longer a viable outfielder, and remains a prime candidate to completely fall apart this year, so the Orioles are taking some risk in forking over $8m to him.   If it works out for them they will sport a dangerous revamped lineup with legitimate power threats in Guerrero, new third baseman Mark Reynolds, Luke Scott, Nick Markakis, and (possibly) new first baseman Derrek Lee.   If not, they will be down $8 million.  While an overpay, it seems like a decent risk for a team that hopes to put a competitive product on the field after years of being also-rans in the toughest division in Major League Baseball.  With a revamped lineup and the further maturation of some rotation arms, there are reasons for the Orioles to believe they can compete in 2011 and if Guerrero is productive he could help push Baltimore to its first winning season since 1997.



  1. Good article! Thanks to author 🙂

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