The Toronto Blue Jays released outfielder/designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero on Tuesday as per his request. The 37-year-old apparently issued the team an ultimatum regarding his status with the team, so the Jays decided it best to cut him rather than call him up to the big leagues.
Guerrero’s agent, Bean Stringfellow, is telling teams that Guerrero is not retiring and still wants to pursue playing in 2012.
Guerrero impressed in his limited time in the minors this season. He hit four home runs in four games with Single-A Dunedin before being promoted to Triple-A Las Vegas.
While he struggled there at first, Guerrero put together a four-hit performance this past Monday.
Regardless of how well he was hitting, the Jays simply had nowhere to put him. With Edwin Encarnacion locking up the designated hitter position and first base at times, Guerrero would have seen a limited bench role.
It’s unlikely that he can still play the outfield at a high enough level, so that really limits his options.
If he’s truly not retiring, then I’m sure he’s already marketing himself to other teams. At this point in his career, he’d likely want to play for a contender.
The extra wild card in each league makes the list of contenders slightly larger, but not many of the teams seem to have a need for a 37-year-old free-swinger with limited mobility.
Because of his status as a DH, I can only see American League clubs having interest in him. He could possibly be a match in Cleveland or Detroit, although both teams would need to get creative with their rosters to make it happen.
I don’t see a reunion with Texas or Anaheim happening, as both clubs seem set at that part of the lineup. New York, Boston, Tampa and Baltimore all seem like unlikely destinations as well.
New York has Raul Ibanez and likes to rotate their DHs, Boston has David Ortiz, Tampa has Hideki Matsui and Baltimore did not want to resign him this past offseason.
It’ll be tough for Guerrero to find himself a job this season unless teams get bitten by the injury bug.
Guerrero has hit 449 home runs over the course of his 16-year career, while tallying 2,590 hits and putting together a triple slash line of .318/.379/.553.