I believe that the Dodgers are after the wrong ex-Angel, and should instead have their sights set on Vladimir Guerrero. The going rate for his services might cost a little bit more than that of Abreu, but he clearly has much more left in his tank.
Over the last three seasons he has hit .298, slugged 44 home runs, and drove in 165 RBIs. He’s no longer the base-stealing threat he once was, but he is very capable of playing defense, as evidenced by a recent workout with the Diamondbacks.
He sounds good enough to be a starter, right? Now you see the point of my article. Why are we pursuing another scrub when we could instantly upgrade our lineup, and for cheap. Guerrero just turned 37, a year younger than Abreu. He made $7.6 million last season, a number he will never see again.
The season has already seen 15.4 percent of it be played out, and a pro-rated contract is in store. Indians outfielder Johnny Damon is making $1.25 million, a number that is way down from the $13 million he made in 2009, less than the $8 million paid to him in 2010, and lower than the $5.25 million he earned last season. That said, Guerrero should be able to be signed to a contract in the area of $2 million.
He holds a .307 average with 10 home runs and 21 RBIs at Dodger Stadium. Sure sounds much better than the .227 with four home runs and 19 RBIs that Abreu brings into play.
The effect of a Guerrero signing would be felt across Southern California as he is extremely beloved in Anaheim.
He could have signed in 2004 when Frank McCourt purchased the Dodgers, but perhaps might finally do so in 2012 with GBM. It’s not too late. He still has gas in the tank, and it can only benefit the Dodgers and their fans, a phrase used constantly by Kasten.
Thus, some advice for the new ownership, pursue a player like Abreu if you must, but understand that he is not the best possible upgrade available. Unless you secretly plan on pursuing Carl Crawford to play in left, and slot Abreu on the bench, there is no reason to bring in a player with very little left.
After all, the tandem of Rivera and Gwynn are hitting .257 with a home run and 11 RBIs. A gamble on Guerrero projects him to have hit two home runs with the same 11 RBIs. That’s one player.
As many people have said: What is there to lose?
Take a gamble, sign Guerrero. The youngsters will appreciate his knowledge. The veterans can share stories. The coaches stand to gain a player in his twilight with a little something left in the tank. Lastly, the fans have much love to give for him, and would be joined by Angel fans jumping on our bandwagon.
Place him behind Ethier, and see what happens.
Sign Guerrero today, and you won’t be disappointed Los Angeles.