2011 Baltimore Orioles Bold Predictions: Vladimir Guerrero

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2011 Baltimore Orioles Bold Predictions: Vladimir Guerrero
Guerrero speaking to the media after being introduced to the media in Sarasota, FL.

Baltimore's offseason appeared to be  wrapped up after the Orioles signed veteran pitcher Justin Duchscherer. However, Orioles general manager pulled an ace from his sleeve and announced that Baltimore had signed Vladimir Guerrero.

The Orioles made an attempt to lure Guerrero to Baltimore back in 2004 but the then right fielder scoffed at the idea.

With the news that the Orioles were in on the free agent designated hitter, word came out that Baltimore had offered Guerrero a one-year contract for about $5 million.

It was not surprising when his agency reported a supposed "eight" million dollar offer from an unknown teamr.

If things could not get any more depressing for Oriole fans, it appeared that the Orioles were not only going to lose out on the big bat for the middle of their order, but they would have to watch a free agent laugh at the idea of playing for the Orioles and get humiliated in the process as well.

Yet Andy MacPhail, the Orioles general manager, shocked the baseball world after agreeing upon a one-year, $8 million contract.

Baltimore put together the final touches to its team, and for the first time in a long time, there was a buzz in Baltimore about baseball.

4.Vladimir Guerrero, DH

Nick Laham/Getty Images
Guerrero hit 173 home runs with the Angels in six seasons

Baltimore’s new designated hitter and clean-up hitter was finally officially introduced to the media in Sarasota, Florida after Guerrero passed his physical.

The 36-year-old slugger will sport No. 27 for the Orioles and has become the center-piece to the Orioles' 2011 lineup.

In 2010, the forcefully humbled designated hitter signed a one-year deal with the Texas Rangers and helped lead to the Rangers to a playoff berth.

Although the Rangers made the playoffs, 2010 was a up-and-down year for the Vlad.

In his first few months with the Rangers, Guerrero hit .339/.384/ .574 with 18 home runs through June. The rest of the year was almost forgettable, as he hit .263/.309/.418.

That sharp drop-off  helped fuel in the Guerrero signing, but looking at his statistics as a whole, one cannot find a single Oriole  who produced better at the plate last year.

Vlad finished the 2010 regular season hitting .300/.345/.496 with 29 home runs and 115 RBI.

In regards to his new home, Camden Yards, Guerrero has hit .333/.400/.611 with nine home runs and 30 RBI in 32 games.

As for production in opposing AL East ball parks, Guerrero has a .325 average with 21 home runs and 71 RBI in 118 games.

At 36 years-old, Vlad is not getting younger as his OPS has not been higher than .900 since 2007, but Guerrero still has shown that he can still produce at a competitive level.

And with his $8 million price tag, he could very well turn out to be a huge bargain for the Orioles in 2011.

2011 Prediction: .315/ 32 HR/ 112 RBI

On Deck: Luke Scott

In the Hole: Mark Reynolds

Previous Predictions: Brian Roberts, Nick Markakis, Derrek Lee

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