Vladimir Guerrero Returns: A Future Hall of Famer Arrives to Shake Up Toronto

Eric BrachCorrespondent IMay 11, 2012

BALTIMORE, MD - SEPTEMBER 18:  Vladimir Guerrero #27 of the Baltimore Orioles connects for a solo home run in the sixth inning of a baseball game against the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at Oriole Park at Camden Yards on September 18, 2011 in Baltimore, Maryland. The Angels beat the Orioles 11-2. (Photo by Steve Ruark/Getty Images)
Steve Ruark/Getty Images

Vladimir Guerrero is back.

Sort of.

ESPN reported today that Vladimir Guerrero just signed a minor-league contract with the Toronto Blue Jays.

While this doesn’t guarantee any playing time for Guerrero—or even a call-up to the bigs—there’s certainly hope for him. After all, if Johnny Damon can still find a home, surely there’s still space for Guerrero.

37-year-old Guerrero brings to the table sixteen years of big-league experience, having spent eight years with the old Expos and six with the Angels before bouncing around the last few years. In fact, it’s not so much his return as it is the sheer fact that no team had thought to claim him until now that really raises eyebrows.

Last season as a DH with the Baltimore Orioles, Guerrero had the worst offensive season of his career – and he hit .290. If .290 counts as a slump, most any player in the majors would happily trade their career outputs with old Vlad the Impaler. And given the fact that the Blue Jays are currently posting a combined batting average of just .238—dead-last in the uber-competitive and hitter-happy AL East—there’s a real possibility that fans will get to see Vladimir Guerrero take the field again in the very near future.

Is it a swan song? No one knows yet. But given Vlad’s career numbers to date—2,590 hits, 449 homers, and 1,496 RBI, all coupled with a .318 batting average and an OPS of over .900—this may represent an opportunity for fans across the nation to get a few last looks at a player who’s a surefire future member of that esteemed establishment in Cooperstown, New York.