MLB Free Agency: Does Vladimir Guerrero Want to Be the Yankees DH in 2012?
Who knew that the designated hitter spot for the Yankees would become a major topic of discussion this month?
It did because the Yankees traded their slated-to-be DH in Jesus Montero last week to the Seattle Mariners in the deal that landed them right-hander Michael Pienda.
With Montero now out of the Yankees plans, they have been searching the free agent market for a DH for 2012.
We have heard them linked to Carlos Pena and former Yankees Johnny Damon and Hideki Matsui.
According to Ken Davidoff of Newsday, Vladimir Guerrero's representatives have contacted the Yankees about their DH opening for the 2012 season.
The former MVP will turn 37 when the 2012 season starts and is on the down-side of his potential Hall of Fame career.
In 2011 with the Baltimore Orioles, Guerrero batted .290 but only had 13 home runs and 65 RBI in 145 games. Not exactly Vlad-like numbers.
However, in 2010 with the Texas Rangers, Vlad batted .300 with 29 home runs and 115 RBI in 152 games for the American League champions.
Should the Yankees sign Vladimir Guerrero to be their DH for 2012?
I'm a little skeptical on Guerrero because of the 2011 season. If it's is a sign of things to come from Guerrero, then I think the Yankees need to pass.
If the 2011 season was a result of Vlad being on a really bad Orioles team and not being able to get more run-production and offensive support, then I am strongly interested in Vlad's services.
The Yankees should have brought in Guerrero over Gary Sheffield before the 2004 season, but then-owner George Steinbrenner really wanted Sheffield on the roster at the time and personally negotiated the deal.
Guerrero went to the Los Angeles Angels, where he averaged around 34 home runs and 114 RBI during his six seasons with the Angels.
During his first four seasons with the team, he finished in the top 10 for the voting for AL MVP, and even won the award in the 2004 season.
Eight years later, Vlad is looking for an everyday job and possibly a chance to win a championship, the one thing in his career that has eluded him.
He came very close in the 2010 season with the Rangers before they were defeated in five games by the San Francisco Giants.
The Yankees are putting together a very strong team to make a run at the 2012 World Series, and they took a great step towards that by bringing in Pineda, plus Hiroki Kuroda to solidify the starting rotation.
The only piece that's really missing is the DH spot, which is why Guerrero had his representatives contact the Yankees.
The Yankees aren't trying to spend big time money on the DH spot, so if Vlad is serious about playing in the Bronx in 2012, he may have to take less money to do so.
What might factor into this is the Detroit Tigers and their new need for a DH with the season-ending injury to Victor Martinez.
They have been in contact with Guerrero's people as well, and could have use for him in 2012.
It wouldn't surprise me if the Tigers ended up with Guerrero, as they were the AL Central champions last year and played in the American League Championship Series against the Rangers in 2011.
But if Guerrero signed with the Yankees, I would be OK with it as long as he is still the feared hitter we saw back in 2010.
The very quiet winter offseason for the Yankees has gotten an injection of life with the ringing in of the new year.
The rotation problems got solved. Now it's figuring out who plays DH in 2012. Could it be the former MVP? Only time will tell.
Stay tuned, Yankees Universe.
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