The Toronto Blue Jays have quizzically signed former Angels (and more recently, Orioles) DH Vladimir Guerrero to a minor league deal, reports Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. The deal is worth $1.3 million, and will be prorated for his time in the majors.
The 37 year-old Guerrero looked pretty much done last year in Baltimore, posting just a .733 OPS, along with a career low 13 homers. His 2.9% walk rate was also the lowest of his career, worlds lower than his career average…which says something, considering how much of a hacker he is.
This seems like mainly an insurance move from the Blue Jays, who have primarily been using Edwin Encarnacion (and his ten homers and .911 OPS) at DH this season. There is absolutely no benefit to playing Guerrero over Encarnacion, so don’t expect to see him get much playing time there. Guerrero hasn’t played the outfield with regularity in years, so he’ll probably just be a bench player in Toronto.
Unless of course, Adam Lind continues to struggle at first base. Lind has just a .630 OPS this year, but you can largely attribute that to a .218 BABIP. But when you consider that this is his third straight year with a sub-.300 OBP, his days with the Blue Jays could be numbered, and Encarnacion could take over at first while Guerrero DHs.
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