Monday, January 11, 2010

Vladdy to Texas

Just after we published the latest projection set, Vladimir Guerrero reportedly agreed with Texas on a deal that will see him take over as the everyday DH.  Guerrero should be able to hit around .300 with 20 home runs in this environment with 80+ RBI and that's all if he lasts, say, 130 games or so.

The real impact of the signing is the mystery of who's the odd one out in the outfield with the DH spot now blocked.  Clearly, a healthy Josh Hamilton plays and Nelson Cruz is coming off a 33 home run season in just 128 games so he would have a spot too.  That means that previous plans that had Julio Borbon taking over as the everyday center fielder and/or David Murphy's spot in the lineup have to be in jeopardy.  There simply isn't room to play five players in three outfield spots and a DH slot.

One thing this likely does end is speculation that Mike Lowell would still end up traded to Texas once he completely recovers from his thumb injury.  Lowell will still end up traded out of Boston but not to Texas.  With Michael Young already at third base, the Rangers had been looking at Lowell as their DH and the Guerrero signing addresses that issue.  Hank Blalock, who played first base more than DH last year, will now definitely leave via free agency.  Chris Davis is supposed to get another chance at first base but the Guerrero signing leads me to believe that Davis doesn't have absolute job security and out of the mix of Davis, Murphy, Hamilton, Cruz and Borbon, you end up with a first baseman and three outfielders and at least one player short on playing time, this all with Guerrero now the locked-in DH.