MLB Trade Rumors reports that Vladimir Guerrero is looking to make a comeback and is willing to sign a minor league deal. How about the outfield-starved Mets?
The 38-year-old Guerrero last played in the majors in 2011. He managed only 13 home runs with 63 RBIs, but he still hit .290. We’d all be happy if any of the current crop of Mets outfielders hit for similar numbers in 2013.
There are, however, historical signs that Guerrero is done. Like many players, Guerrero had one last great season at age 35, hitting .300 with 29 homers and 115 RBIs. Then he slumped to the 2011 numbers at age 36.
There is also the question of whether Guerrero is capable of playing the outfield anymore. He was used exclusively as a designated hitter in his final year.
Even with all of the negatives, I would take a shot and sign Vladimir Guerrero to a minor league contract. Considering whom the Mets have in camp (PED user Marlon Byrd?!), can Guerrero be any worse? In his prime, the guy could just flat out hit. Perhaps he can find the magic once again.
Incidentally, Vladimir Guerrero could have become a Met when he was still in that prime. Guerrero was a free agent after the 2003 season, when Fred Wilpon ordered then-GM Jim Duquette to slash the payroll. Late in free agency, Wilpon gave Duquette the go-ahead to pursue Guerrero. However Guerrero was coming off a season in which he injured his back, and the Mets were apparent gun shy. They made a lowball offer that included some sort of clause to protect themselves in case of a further injury (if my memory is correct). Guerrero then signed a five-year, $70 million contract with the Angels, a deal the Mets could have easily topped.
So maybe now Guerrero will finally be a Met. Unlikely, but you never know.