How much is enough for Vlad Guerrero?

21 Feb

I love some Vlad Guerrero. I’ve seen some great hitters, but few were as exciting as Vlad. In his prime, I honestly believed that the nose to toes strike zone didn’t fit him. I saw him literally hit a pitch that bounced in. I saw him hit pitches over his head. Heck. I saw him hit pitches that looked so far out of the zone I thought the catcher couldn’t get to them had he whiffed. That was a few years ago though and now Vlad is an aging DH that at best has flashes of his former brilliance.

I don’t know what Vlad is being offered by Baltimore or anyone else in terms of guaranteed money on a deal, but whatever it is I would be willing to bet is generous – just not the $5 mil a year generous he is demanding. At 37, is he worth that kind of money? Absolutely not. Only 13 homers and a hair over 60 ribbies is not $5 mil performance money. That was in 145 games with half in a bandbox, so you can’t say he didn’t get a fair shake to produce. Is it ego driving his demands or is it an easy way to walk away from the game without having to officially retire and admit to himself he is not a premiere hitter anymore?

Jermaine Dye did the same thing – but Dye had better numbers – he just wasn’t worth 8 figures a season. I have to think Vlad just doesn’t want to play. He’s made over $125 million in his career not counting any endorsement money. I haven’t heard of him spending like the re-incarnation of Jack Clark so I doubt he’s broke. It could be an ego thing, but Vlad never struck me as that type of guy. All it can be is he really doesn’t want to play.

I’d love to see Vlad tear it up one more year. It would be fun. But let’s face facts – no one is giving him $5 mil. Everyone has a DH. Some have a rotation of DH’s. He can’t play the field anymore. He can’t run. Now, he can’t hit like a $5 million man either. The next month will tell what he is all about so far as his the end of the road. He could offer value to a team, but only in a limited role. If he can deal with that, he has three more seasons maybe. if not, it was great watching him, happy retirement.

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