Friday, January 28, 2011

Guerrero, O's still talking

Vladimir Guerrero doesn't exactly have a ton of options left in terms of suitors, so with the Orioles apparently interested in his services, he's listening. And that's what ESPN's Buster Olney is reporting -- that Guerrero and the O's are "making progress in their talks for a 2011 contract."

The O's have already made a few moves this offseason to upgrade the team's lineup (particularly the infield), such as trading for third baseman Mark Reynolds, dealing for shortstop J.J. Hardy, and signing first baseman Derrek Lee. However, Andy MacPhail doesn't appear to be done trying to fix the team's offense and may want Guerrero to be the team's designated hitter. If that happens, Luke Scott would likely see more time in left field since the O's need to keep his bat in the lineup. And that would be bad news for both Felix Pie and Nolan Reimold, who currently seem headed for a time-share role in left field. If Guerrero ends up in Baltimore, the O's could trade one, or both, for pitching depth.

Guerrero is 35, can only DH at this point in his career, and isn't likely to keep posting solid offensive numbers. (Not that a one-year deal is that big of a risk, obviously.) Meanwhile, Reimold is 27 and Pie is 25. Are the O's against giving those two a chance to see what they can do in a split-duty role, or is the team basically convinced at this point of what type of player each guy is?

It's not like the O's will have to break the bank for Guerrero -- they can probably sign him for a few million bucks. But if they do bring him to Baltimore, that may shut the door on the possibility of Reimold or Pie sticking around much longer (unless they both end up as bench guys, which doesn't seem likely).

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