Several veteran designated hitter-type veterans remain on the free agent market. We recently heard that Johnny Damon is waiting for the right offer and is still hoping to land a starting role. Vladimir Guerrero has done his share of waiting this offseason as well, but the nine-time All-Star may only sit on the sidelines for so long. According to CBSSports.com’s Jon Heyman, Guerrero is prepared to play baseball in Japan if no MLB team comes calling this spring.
Heyman noted how “unusual” it would be for a Hall of Fame-type player to go to Japan to play, but apparently Guerrero is prepared to do just that to continue his professional playing career. The Toronto Blue Jays were the last team to show interest in Guerrero. The only other team the veteran has been connected to recently has been the New York Yankees, and that was because Guerrero said he wanted their DH role.
Guerrero did have a career-low season in 2011, but the 37-year-old did hit at a clip of .290/.317/.416 with 13 home runs, 30 doubles and 63 RBI’s for the Baltimore Orioles. While Guerrero can still handle his own at the plate, he is basically useless in the field. Guerrero only suited up as the Orioles DH last season, as it’s gotten to the point where it’s painful to watch him do something as simple as run to first base.
It would be a shame to see a player with the track record of Guerrero leave the game not on his own terms. But, unfortunately for the slugger, teams just don’t have much of a need for aging DH-type players who can’t play the field. How do you say Impaler in Japanese?