MacPhail shoots down the latest Vlad rumor..
The Orioles remain interested in Vladimir Guerrero although reports that they are close to reaching an agreement with the veteran slugger are premature.
MLB Network Radio reported Friday night that the two sides were closing in on a one-year deal, a story which usually tight-lipped president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail refuted in an email to MLB.com.
“[The] report is not accurate,” MacPhail said.
MacPhail and the Orioles front office have met with Guerrero’s representatives earlier this winter, and with Manny Ramirez off the board it’s not out of the question that Guerrero could sign somewhere soon. The Angels also have reported interest.
Having already added Derrek Lee, Mark Reynolds and J.J. Hardy to their lineup, the O’s are most focused on adding a veteran starter and a lefty reliever before heading to Spring Training. They could use another bat for their bench, but it wouldn’t be a Guerrero-type; if he signed with Baltimore, it would be as a full-time designated hitter, a move that would likely shift Luke Scott to left field and crowd the current platoon of Nolan Reimold and Felix Pie. One of the three, most likely Pie under that scenario, would be traded.
The 35-year-old Guerrero is coming off a strong season with the Rangers in which he was named an All-Star for the ninth time in his career. The 35-year-old won his eighth Silver Slugger Award by hitting .300/.345/.496 with 29 home runs and 115 RBIs.
Guerrero struggled in the second half of the season, hitting .278 with nine homers and 40 RBIs, batting just .220 with no homers in 15 postseason games as the Rangers advanced to their first World Series appearance.
The 2004 American League MVP while with the Angels, Guerrero is a career .320 hitter with 436 home runs and 1,433 RBIs over 15 seasons with the Expos, Angels and Rangers.