Blue Jays Release Vladimir Guerrero Following Ultimatum

Adam WellsFeatured ColumnistJune 12, 2012

DETROIT - SEPTEMBER 25: Vladimir Guerrero #27 of the Baltimore Orioles watches the action during the game against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park on September 25, 2011 in Detroit, Michigan.  (Photo by Leon Halip/Getty Images)
Leon Halip/Getty Images

Vladimir Guerrero's MLB comeback hit a snag on Tuesday, as the Toronto Blue Jays granted his request for a release since they did not have an opening on their roster, according to Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports

#BlueJays release Vlad at his request, according to agent Bean Stringfellow. He wanted opportunity at major-league level. Not retiring.

— Ken Rosenthal (@Ken_Rosenthal) June 12, 2012

Guerrero signed a minor league contract with the Blue Jays in May after he was unable to find a team willing to give him a guaranteed big league job. The 37-year-old veteran has played 12 games this season, four with high Single-A Dunedin and eight with Triple-A Las Vegas, and was hitting .358 with eight extra-base hits in 53 at-bats. 

Enrique Rojas of wrote that Guerrero left the team because the two sides had agreed to a date for him to be called up, but it passed with no indication of a promotion. 

"Vlad and the Blue Jays had a sort of deadline to bring him to the majors and that time just passed, without that happening," a source said. "The Blue Jays have to decide today if they want him or not, but Guerrero will not return to (a) minor league."

Considering Guerrero's age, declining performance and physical limitations, he should not be making demands of a big-league team. With just 12 games under his belt, it is fair to assume that Vlad needs some more at-bats before he is ready to contribute to an MLB ball club.  

The offensive numbers Guerrero put up in his limited action should be taken with a grain of salt. High Single-A pitching is filled with a bunch of non-prospects, and Las Vegas is one of the best hitting environments in the minors. 

Since he is reportedly not retiring (per Rosenthal's tweet), it will be interesting to see if any teams try to pursue him in light of this news.