After years of watching him beat them silly the Texas Rangers are reportedly interested in free agent Vladimir Guerrero formerly of the Los Angeles Angels. Last season Guerrero was limited to 100 games due to a torn pectoral muscle slumping to a .295/.334/.460 line with 15 homers and 50 RBI. It was by all accounts the worst season of Guerrero’s professional career.
TR Sullivan notes that former Ranger Marlon Byrd figures to ask for a three year deal worth $6-$8 million a season to resign with the club and early indications are that the Chicago Cubs who have long had eyes for him could look to reunite him with Rudy Jaramillio. Sullivan goes on to note that the Rangers could fall back on Mike Cameron or Scott Posednik who he believes will return to the Chicago White Sox.
Obviously the Rangers wouldn’t look for Guerrero to play center field, but moving Josh Hamilton back to the position with David Murphy is always an option. Right now the Rangers would start the season with Murphy, Hamilton and Nelson Cruz going from left to right in the outfield. Julio Borbon who had streaks of impressive play is also an option and either Murphy or him could be used as a fourth outfielder/DH type player on this team in order to keep the two boppers in the outfield rested.
If Guerrero was to join the Rangers it would certainly be almost exclusively as a DH. He’s been known to have a rocket arm in the past but it’s showing signs of cooling off and he’s been a defensive liability for years now. His presence on the club wouldn’t change much leaving Murphy and Borbon to play left field and move across the outfield as needed.
In 50 career games at the Rangers’ home ballpark Guerrero has hit .394/.471/.705 and while he’d be hard pressed to put up those type of numbers nightly there’s little doubt that he’d utilize the ballpark to his advantages as effectively as anyone.
With the Angels having a mass exodus this winter the AL West could be up for grabs and who better then the Rangers to go and snatch the division from them?
Of course there are obstacles in the way for the Rangers. Mainly cash concerns and a potential sale of the club. Guerrero made $15 million last season and while he won’t make that much this season he still figures to get a pretty nice payday. The Rangers likely will look at where Guerrero’s asking price is, take a few looks and then either trade for or sign a player with a lower price tag when it’s all said and done.
You can’t blame the front office for trying but the Rangers have a history of throwing out big names and ideas to keep fans interested and then coming up a little short.
The other concern with Guerrero signing with Texas is making Hamilton the full-time center fielder. He is not somebody who will stay healthy for a full season and if the Rangers want to keep him in the lineup for the whole summer I would imagine they would have to DH him some.