The Vladimir Guerrero saga continues. It started weeks ago when it began to look possible for the Orioles to add another DH type hitter after signing Derrek Lee to play first base. The idea of adding another power hitter to the Orioles lineup was just too tempting not to think about.
It is now starting to look like a very real possibility that the Orioles could sign Vladimir Guerrero. Jim Bowden with the MLB Network Radio reported last week that the Orioles were close to signing Vlad to a one year deal. That was quickly shot down, however by Andy MacPhail. The door has never been completely shut by the Orioles and now it seems like the Orioles may be the front runner to sign Vlad.
Vlad was looking for a 2 year deal worth around $16 million earlier in the offseason, but it looks like he is going to have to settle for a one year deal. Now, Ken Rosenthal of Foxsports.com is reporting the Orioles have made an offer to Vlad for $3 to $5 million. ESPN’s Buster Olney is saying the Orioles would have interest in Vlad for about $2 million. Either way, if the Orioles were to sign Vlad for one year at say $5 million, the Orioles would have to be thrilled considering he was looking for 2 years and $16 million.
It remains to be seen how close the Orioles really are to signing Vlad, especially considering there have been reports saying the Orioles are already at their budget for 2011 or even over it. However, everyone knows Peter Angelos and the Orioles have money to spend and if they really are going to not sign Vlad for $5 million (which would be a steal) because they met their budget, fans would have a legitimate reason to be angry. We aren’t talking about giving Prince Fielder $20 million a season. The Orioles have an opportunity to sign a guy for under market value that would improve their team. If they decide to not do it because they don’t want to spend a few million more, then the Orioles mind as well not bother trying to contend in the AL East.
I won’t get into what this would mean for Felix Pie, Nolan Reimold, and Luke Scott unless a signing is actually made. I will say my initial thought is the Orioles should keep everyone and not look to trade away Pie, Reimold, or Scott. That is something fans can debate over after the Orioles pay up and sign Vladimir Guerrero.