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January 26, 2011

O's have had recent conversations with Guerrero; sides not close to deal

The Orioles have spoken to free agent slugger Vladimir Guerrero's agent this week, but the two sides are not close to a deal.

"We’ve had some conversations, but there is nothing on the horizon,” said Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail, declining to characterize his team's chances of landing the nine-time All-Star.

Guerrero's representatives did not respond to a request for comment.

While content with Luke Scott as their designated hitter and a platoon of Felix Pie and Nolan Reimold in left field, the Orioles have said all along that they would have interest in Guerrero at the right price.

With the Tampa Bay Rays opting to sign Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon, the Los Angeles Angels trading for Vernon Wells and the Texas Rangers acquiring Mike Napoli, Guerrero is believed to have very few options.

However, it is unknown if that has resulted in Guerrero's pricetag coming down significantly enough for the Orioles to make a serious play for the veteran who hit 29 homers and drove in 115 runs for the Texas Rangers in 2010.

The Orioles have exceeded their desired payroll for 2011, though owner Peter Angelos has long admired Guerrero and it wouldn't be surprising if he approved of such a move at the right price.

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Posted by Jeff Zrebiec at 3:23 PM | | Comments (53)


Dear Peter Angelos,

Stop being cheap and pay Vladimir Guerrero whatever he wants on a one year deal. You have the money and it's only a one year investment. You may exceed your anticipated payroll, but it will make the Orioles offense significantly better. Thank you!

>An Orioles Fan

This isn't hard to figure out

Vlad = more wins
More wins = higher attendance
higher attendance= more money for payroll

I mean worst case scenerio you trade him at midseason to ease the payroll, heck you can trade a bunch of guys at midseason to ease payroll - Scott, Guthrie, Reynolds, Hardy Lee etc.

Not saying I want to see any of them be traded
just saying it's an option

The Orioles are 10 million below league avg in payroll anyway

What about the MASN money ?


If the O's end up with Vlad, do you get the impression that one of Pie or Scott will get traded or do you think it is more likely that they option Reimold to AAA to start the season?

Thanks for the update!

Jeff Z's reply: My guess is they would start Luke in left, and Pie and Reimold would compete for the 4th outfield spot in spring training. Pie would obviously have the advantage because he is out of options. However, I do think they would be open to trading either. Just depends what's out there.

Give Andy the OK Peter. This team is closer to competing than you think. Besides, what a few million to a guy like you.

I like Nolan Reimold and think he's going to have a bounce back year, and I think Felix Pie is respectable, but they should absolutely sign Guerrero if at all possible. The Orioles have a bad habit of only thinking one layer deep when they put together their roster. It's better to have too much depth instead of not enough. Pie gets hurt all the time, Reimold has had injury issues, Luke Scott has a short DL stint every year and Derrek Lee isn't exactly young. At bats will work themself out over the course of the year.

Unfortunately that payroll is about 40 million below what they could afford. Over the last eight years the Orioles, according to Forbes, have the third highest earnings(revenue-cost) in all baseball, way more than the Yankees and Red Sox. Yes Tom Davis the Forbes numbers may be estimates, but Forbes is a talented group and you'd expect good estimates from them.

The orioles had gotten the OK on others in the same area as Guerrero .... Joey (albert) Belle.... Glen Davis .... great pick ups all of them ..... I think many would like Guerrero with the Orioles... but I would only want him at the right price....

My take is that Andy is holding out for Fan Fest before making an announcement like he did last year for Miggy. I find it funny how we have heard that "The Orioles are close to a deal!" and yet we have only heard otherwise from Andy and not from the other side. Only time will tell but that's my thought that he is holding out an announcement for this weekend to get the fans excited and to put butts in seats.

This should only happen if Vlad's asking price comes way down. It would be nice to have him in that he'll draw more fans and add a little excitement. But I don't like that this would take AB's from Pie and Riemold who could both use a strong 2011 to build towards 2012 when the O's have a better shot at competing. I say save the money and use it on the draft. This may be the last draft where the O's can grab talent in the later rounds by spending over slot for them. This is also said to be a very deep draft. With the money that would be spent on Vlad we could add some much needed talent to the farm system, which will help us work towards actually playing for a playoff spot in a couple years.

I agree that Vlad would be nice to have and his bat would mean the O's would have something on the bench in a key situation for a change.

However, it's a buyers market on him so the O's need not throw money at him.

The world won't end if he doesn't sign.

Absent any trades, a deal with Guerrero makes little sense. If the Orioles do make some deals, I would hope they would get real value, and not just dump people. I don't think Pie and Reimold are likely anything more than 4th OFs, but they shouldn't just be dumped. I would be most in favor of selling Scott for prospects, actually, but I doubt the fans would like that sort of approach.

I don't know the age of some of these bloggers who every year say we are building to make a run at it in 2 to 3 years. I'm 67, I can't wait 10 years for another exciting pennant race that we are involved in. Get Vlad, get it done and Play Ball!!

Just look at the excitement signing Guerrero would bring to our club! Our potential run production would go up without increasing team strike-outs. Our young pitchers would feel less pressure. The list of good stuff could go on and on. Is there ONE down-side? Please get him on -board ASAP.

Dear Peter, sign Vlad... havent we fans sufferred enough??? Thanks

Add him. Period. What will it hurt? I don't mind having Luke Scott in left. He may not be as fast as Pie, but his defense is more than serviceable. Pie tends to take bad routes to the ball on occassion, even though he's more apt to make the spectacular play. And, I think we all know about his baserunning skills. Reimold wasn't anything like the player he was in 2009. In addition, like Bonzi77 said, someone is bound to get hurt, whether it's Reimold, Pie, Lee, Scott, or Adam Jones. The at-bats will be found for all players, and it certainly doesn't hurt to have a little extra depth.

It seems to me that the increase in ticket prices would go a long way towards what it would take to sign him...........

El Cheapskate strikes again! Ay Carumba!

A big NO to Vlad. He'll be 37 (40 if using the Tejada conversion rate), his #'s after the 1st 2 mths 2010 were mediocre, can't run or play the field. For his assumed offense (a big assumption - think Sosa), we sacrifice LF defense & team speed repl our fastest (Pie) with Vlad (will take 3 singles to score him from 1st). The biggest cost however is that we throw Pie & Reimold under the bus for WHAT - a few more wins by a 4th/5th place team. Don't know if Pie & Reimold are part of the future but we know Vlad isn't.

Jeff, just curious about who instigated the recent conversation. Do you know if Andy called the agent or the other way around?

Jeff Z's reply: No I do not. I do know that the two sides hadn't talked much in several weeks before the last couple of days.

NO to Vald, he'll be 37 (maybe 40 if he's using the Tejada conversion rate), his #'s after the 1st 2 mths were mediocre despite batting in a much better lineup than ours. His #'s will likely get worse
(think Sosa) in 2011, he can't play in the field & will clog the bases. Meanwhile to get his assumed offense we sacrifice LF defense & speed (Pie our fastest rides the pine while Vlad requires 3 singles to score from 1st).
Still the biggest 'cost' is that we throw Pie & Reimold under the bus - they may or may not be part of our future but we surely know that Vlad isn't!!

The O's can afford to do both. They can build to REALLY contend in 2-3 yrs. with a young core. But they can go out and add Vlad to this group and make a run this year too!

Smells like another Fanfest suprise announcement to me.

Guerrero drops asking price...

Vlad is 36, can't play the field and has diminishing numbers. We are competing for wild card in our dreams. Save the money 'til next year when the kids have another year under their belts and let Pie/Reimold play.

Just to comment on a few things. Orsulakfan, I agree with you to an extent. The Orioles need to trade someone in order to fit Vlad into the 25 man roster. However, I think Pie and Reimold can be starting LF's. I would trade Pie and someone for a starting pitcher. To me I think we are compatible with the White Sox here for a trade. If we did that I would like to see Gavin Floyd. If the O's can do it. Jeff Z despite your new award congrats, but I beg to differ with you about Luke Scott starting in left field. Why would the Orioles do that? They haven't really done that in 2 yrs. Why would they all of a sudden do that especially when Showalter is defensively minded. Makes no sense.
Plus, even if they did, why would the O's want to spend all that money on Scott and Guerrero for a platoon. In all of this, I really think Tyler Henson is a dark horse in all of this. I think he would be a tremendous left fielder defensively and keep Reimold and hope he finds his 2009 form. Lastly, if the Orioles sign Vlad and want him at fanfest, they better do it like this second, because he has to pass an Orioles Physical! That can be time consuming and it's currently Wednesday night. Come on Andy let's get this done! I have faith in you! Oddly enough =).

Jeff Z's reply: So you want Guerrero and yet you don't want Scott in left field? Do you want them to put their best hitter last year on the bench? Where else do you want him?

Sign the guy and I promise that I will go to at least three games this year with many friends. We haven't been in over a decade. Make it interesting for fans and they will come. We will come. PETE! You can't take it with you Sir and you are not getting any younger. Do you actually give a hoot? DO YOU?

Vlad could probably get more money playing in Japan than the O's want to pay him.

Rosenthal reports Vlad is looking for 1 year/$8 mil

Get it done. If he doesn't come to Baltimore, then he'll probably go to Toronto. That would not be good. Don't need to trade any players here. Scott is the LF/DH/1B backup. Guerrero is the main DH. Pie goes to the bench, and Reimold to AAA. Pie needs to stay healthy for once, and Reimold needs to have a bounce back year. He won't do that playing 3 times a week in the majors. Let him rip the ball everyday in Norfolk.

I can't for the life of me figure out how you give Kevin Gregg $10 million for two years and yet try to lowball a quality middle-of-the-lineup impact hitter. Isn't Guerrero's potential run production worth at least as much as the 75-80 innings Gregg might pitch?


Everyone in Baltimore seems to think that the Orioles get billions and billions from MASN. I've asked a couple of media members, on their shows about this and both said that MASN revenues are not nearly as much as every thinks.

Since many, many people are clamoring for the Vlad signing and cite MASN as the source of all this largess, I'll ask you and Dan, how much do the Orioles get from MASN?

Thanks and congrats on the award.

Jeff Z's reply: Ken, this question has been asked repeteadly and I'll answer the same way we have all offseason. Unfortunately, there have just been estimated by random outsiders as to how much money they can't. They Orioles do not open the books to us, and don't comment on this when question is asked.

Angelos aspires to nothing more than mediocrity. They will never get better as long as he is the owner. Where is the "buy the bats" mantra? The Orioles are the modern-day Senators. Playing .500 ball is the goal.


Over the "desired payroll." Is this a joke coming from the front office!!!!?? Exactly how many years is this going to be the plan because last I checked, we are going to have to spend money to compete at all. We don't have the farm system to develop within. Just please tell me this is a one year thing to have space next winter. With that said, sign Vlad!!!!! What is the worst that happens, Reimold starts the year at AAA? If he goes nuts, we move Vlad at the trade deadline to someone willing to give something up. It seems pretty simple and I am not one to question a professional front office.

Jeff Z's reply: Yeah the desired payroll is different every year, and is hardly set in stone. I just think team officials feel that they will raise payroll significantly when the rest of the nucleus is in position to win, and there are two or three guys out there that are going to push them over the top. Again, my opinion of what they are thinking with this year's desired payroll, I'm not trying to speak for them.

There is zero downside to signing Vlad!

Vlad will make everyone in the lineup better. Tampa signs Damon and Manny even though I doubt Damon will play more than 60-70 games in the OF and Texas is using a great player like Michael Young as a super sub and we are worried about enough ABs for Pie and Reimold? This is the problem for the O's, they haven't created much competition for roster spots for position players. Look at last year when Reimold was supposed to be a mainstay in the OF, but he was hurt and then Felix so if the O's didn't get Corey, they would have been screwed last year because they had no one else to turn to. You can't have enough good players.

The last important thing about Vlad is that he is respected throughout the game so teams will now have to worry about facing the O's and if the O's manage 81+ wins, I am sure Baltimore will be a hell of lot more attractive to free agents than it has been the last few years when we've been scratching to avoid 100 losses. Vlad makes the O's relevant to even the casual fan.

Sign Vlad the Impaler. It's not like Reimold is Crawford or Matt Halliday; or Luke Scott is Adam Dunn. Or that we have so much depth that we could not use a lifetime .320 hitter who has driven in 100+ runs in 5 of the last 7 years, with one year at 91 and another injured.

Just sign Vlad, McPhail. Our offense needs a big bat that scares opposing pitching and believe me Vlad hacks when hes at bat. Plus the guy only struck out 60 times with the Rangers. thats 140 times less than Reynolds di. Makes sense to all O's fans.

The problem that I have with Mr. Angelos is that he did care at one time. He allowed Pat Gillick to build a powerhouse. He allowed us to have pride in our baseball team and to want to watch and go to games. Now, I can handle about a half an hour and I'm done.

I would just love to buy some $8 beers and $6 hot dogs. To sit in a beautiful stadium with the heat seeking forest green seats making you sweat 5 pounds off a game in the summer. I MISS IT! But I won't do it with a crappy team on display.

We have something good going on here. One very good starter and another big bat for around 15 mil and who knows. Worst case scenario..... we get some respect and our dignity back. I'll even pitch in a $100 bucks for God's Sake.

I think we are doing a great job this year FINALLY putting a competitive team on the field. Vlad would be the last piece of the puzzle.I especially love how they didn't give jones an extended contract. Make him earn it! I like scott's bat BUT he is a streak hitter and that isn't something you want batting 5th in your lineup. Once again sign Vlad and watch Markakis soar into one of the best hitters iin baseball! Ir


Why doesn't the warehouse come clean with the profits from MASN? We know that Comcast charges us $2 per household per month x 12 = $24 x approx. 5 million subscribers in BWI/WSH area = $120 million. Isn't the split 70/30 which would make O's numbers roughly $84 million. Even if it's 60/40 would make O's piece approx. $72 million. Mr. Angelos was smart enough to make a sweetheart deal for MASN. In addition to television revenue and seat revenue, can't we afford more than $80 million. What's your take on this.


Jeff Z's reply: Not sure what you want my take on. The fact that they should reveal this info? How many teams open their books for reporters and fans? I'm not sure. Teams feel that by revealing info like that, it could put them at a competitive disadvantage. I know, I know. No need for jokes.

I remember some years ago, when I was working in local radio, and I had a chance to speak with a Philadelphia reporter about Steve Carlton and why the Silent One would not speak to the press and did it do him any good.

I forget who the reporter was, it might have been Conlin, but he said the guy was just like that and no, it didn't do him any good. If Lefty wouldn't explain things to the press, the reporter said, then the press would have to come up with their own explanations and fans would come to their own conclusions. And neither would likely be very complimentary to the pitcher.

Same with the Orioles. I'm sure they tell themselves that it's no one's business but theirs how much money they make, certainly not fans or press. So, that leaves you in the media and us fans trying to come up with our own conclusions. And, as I'm sure you know, these conclusions are not very complimentary.

We all know Angelos is loaded, a billionaire many times over, and from attendance figures, we can get a decent idea of what they get from those sources. But no one has ever said what they get from other sources. So we are all left to speculate and you have to answer dumb questions from people like me about what they get.

I try to be positive about the Orioles and their dealings but sometimes they make it very hard to give them the benefit of the doubt.

I find it incredibly funny how many idiots actually believe there is a budget set by Angelos and even care as to what each player actually will cost us. Are you guys psuedo accountants or what? What do you care what these players cost us, as long as we get them?

Hey, if you don't aspire to be great, by paying great players like Vlad as many of the smarter guys posting have pointed out, then you never will have great baseball in this town. Everyone knows Angelos has the money and he loves Vlad. Now, let's see if he extends "the budget" for this special occasion and give us a "chance" to be great one more time. We truly could be 1 small step away from seeing something special happening at THE YARDS this summer. Lord knows we deserve it!

Now, to all the idiots, go do your taxes or something!

This whole snow/ice thing is for the birds let me tell you.

Gary K why would any team do that?
Do you think Frank McCourt is going to come out and say how much money he's making especially with his impending divorce? How about the Sillies with their multiple owners, they don't come out and say anything at all.
So why should Peter Angelos come out and say anything, I don't fault him at all for being silent.

Jeff Z, if it were up to me as to what I would do with Luke Scott I would trade him and Guthrie to the Red Sox for Pappelbon. Their salaries match up and it would free up a roster space for the O's. I am sure O's fans will tell me I am "Nuts" but hey it wouldn't be the 1st time. Also, it would give Kevin Gregg some real competition for closer. I like Koji, but I like him as a middle reliever not a closer. That would leave Reimold in Left field. I am also assuming we will trade Pie and someone for a SP. Then maybe we could sign Scotty Pod we need a back up plan for lead off anyway. Does anyone else have any suggestions? I can't wait for the response on this exciting evening!

Jeff Z's reply: Squirrel, you're not playing fantasy baseball. Do you have any knowledge on the Red Sox wanting Scott and Guthrie? Last time I checked, the Red Sox were pretty content with their rotation of Beckett, Lackey, Dice-K, Lester and Buchholz. And where is Luke Scott going to play? Ortiz is their DH and Carl Crawford is their left fielder. They're already paying Cameron a ton of money to servce as their 4th outfielder, they're not going to do the same with Drew.

PLEASE.. P L E A S E. . . P L E A S E..

Let Guererro waste space on the Yankees, Blue Jays, or Red Sox bench.


These things on my stupid captcha screen are not characters on my keyboard. It is impossible to decipher this nonsense.

Why does it have to be a challenge to post here? My best option is to click "Get a new challenge", but I don't want a new challenge, I just want words in the English language, comprised of the letters from the English alphabet.

This is a horrible, horrible program, and I'd rather read the spam nonsense than to ever make the effort to post here again.

I will try to it as "hizats haorning", but I am sure it is wrong.

The Orioles payroll is actually lower now than it was 10 years ago, and MASN continues to thrive. Yet all we ever read about is $money, $money, $money.
P. Angelos was worth 1.5 billion 3 yrs ago.

gary K: Source of your subscriber count? The entire DC/MD/VA population is less than 14 million. Household count may be 8 million. Comcast's market share is not 100%. If it is 20%, then there are 1.6 million subscribers. The Baseball content is up 6 months, not 12 months.
Therefore, dividing your total by 6 is better estimate. That pays two key player contracts not 6 to 10. I am spot on - NO. Closer to reality - Definitely

For all we know Reimold could be another turd along the lines of such winners and Larry Bigbie and Luis Matos + PIE can't stay off the DL.

The O's need to get this done

It's been my experience that typically when management says nothing is happening and agents all go silent, it's not long after they're announcing a signing. So maybe we'll see Andy trot out Vlad at Orioles fanfest this Saturday. It would be nice to have the Orioles steal a little of the Ravens thunder as all the local sports shows are still, two weeks later, belaboring the loss. Sorry, the Ravens season is over. Look forward to next year. Now, please zip the Ravens talk (really...PLEASE) and let's talk about the ORIOLES who are about to embark on what will likely be their best season in over 13 years.

Vlad has been a mighty Oriole killer. We need to get him on OUR side. Sign him right now !!!!

Maybe they're waiting to see how the arbitration with Scott goes. If they win and he's disgruntled and surly (and if Vlad's still around), he could be trade fodder for some starting pitching. It wouldn't bother me. He was no help for the first half of last season, and I'm tired of his self-congratulatory canyon-wide smiles when he does deliver a long ball anyway. Plus, I fear there's something ugly underneath with those rants about you-know-who not being an American citizen... I'd rather let Vlad try to be a more consistent Impaler of AL East pitching. That would be a hot ticket. Luke? Well, his streaky inconsistency leaves me Luuuke-warm.

So the Orioles have exceeded their 2011 payroll, huh? Then doesn't all this talk of baseball and competitiveness and making a run in the AL east just so much BS? Since the Skanks and Red Sux have no problem with a 200 million dollar payroll and since the MASN thing apparently doesn't mean anything whatsoever other than lining Angelos pants with gold, what exactly is the point? It's going to be the same every year. Angelos has the money but isn't interested in winning and therefore won't spent it. Same old adage......while Angelos is running the show the O's will "show" up in 5th place. This team has money and plenty of it to compete in this division.....BUT .....scrooge ain't going to go there.

At the risk of starting a firestorm, maybe, just maybe, folks in the FO actually are looking beyond 2011. The mighty Prince accepted a 1 year deal in Beer City, making him a free agent in 2012. With Lee on a one year deal, he is definitely not part of a long term strategy. Another year of experience for the young starters along with a full season to find out what Pie and Reimold are made of makes sense in this scenario. Add to that a year for Britton and Erbe to further develop and 2012 doesn't sound unreasonable for Andy & Co. to make "The Push".

I don't really think that Andy's 'buy the bats' strategy was to buy them one at a time, for a year at a time. That would explain the luke-warm (no pun intended) response to the availability of Vlad. Improvements over the 2010 squad have already been substantial, at least on paper.

So, after this season will teams be lining up for Fielder? You bet. Maybe, just maybe, we save enough coin this year to make a run for that big, power bat next year. Having a more established pitching staff, a full season under Buck's belt and money in the bank might be the enticement necessary to bring him to The Yard.

Maybe, just maybe. . .

Well, in my humble opinion, if the O's pass on this one, it will just send another clear message to any prime time high-tier players that they really are more concerned with money than winning. Most players don't want to play on a team that isn't willing to do what it takes to win. Granted, the O's have made a few positive steps, but so far, I think most peeps are guardedly cautious at best.

My dad, rest his soul, used to say, "Outfielders are a dime a dozen. If you need one, you can usually get a decent one without much trouble." I disagreed, and pointed out that guys like Frank Robby, Ken Singleton, Al Bumbry weren't just a dime a dozen. He'd nod and say, "Yes, they're good players, but baseball is top heavy with outfielders. I'd rather have one that can hit three run homers than one with a gold glove.

I've begun to come around to his line of thinking. So, in my world, Pie/Reimold is a luxury. I'd rather have a lousy fielding Vlad in right field swinging a mean bat than two guys that they've been trying to develop for going on three years. Personally, I'd give Vlad a TWO year deal that was incentive laden. If he plays, we pay. If he chokes, we don't

As to Fielder, try REAL hard to keep from deluding yourself. The man has already paid his dues on a marginal team. Do you seriously think he'd come to Baltimore? I don't care HOW much money the O's offer, he'll wind up on a team he feels is a true contender. That means BoSox, Yuckies, Angels, Phillies...anybody but the O's. Why? Because when push comes to shove, they haven't proven to the league that they're serious about winning and doing what it takes to achieve it. Fielder may flirt with us, but I'd almost bet he'd do it to drive up his price elsewhere. Doubt me? I present to you Mark Tex as Exhibit A.

Sorry to seem like such a knock, but its how I feel.

ACK. I reposted this as I forgot to provide a name and email addy on the firest one. Please nuke the prior.

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About the bloggers
A Baltimore native, Dan Connolly has been covering sports for 14 years, and baseball and the Orioles for 10 seasons, including the past six with The Sun. His first year covering baseball on a daily basis was Cal Ripken Jr.'s final season as a player. It's believed that is just a coincidence.

Steve Gould is an assistant sports editor for The Sun, overseeing Orioles coverage. The Columbia native joined The Sun as a sports copy editor in 2006 after graduating from the University of Maryland.

Peter Schmuck has been covering baseball for a lot longer than Steve Gould has been on this earth. He is now a general sports columnist, but has been a beat writer covering three major league teams (the Dodgers, Angels and Orioles) and also spent a decade as the Sun's national baseball writer. If you want more of his insight on the Orioles and other sports issues, check out his personal blog -- The Schmuck Stops Here.

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