Talking some Vlad…

ESPN’s Buster Olney just tweeted that Vladimir Guerrero and the Orioles are “making progress” in their talks for a 2011 contract. Olney went on in a subsequent tweet to say the O’s are also being told that Guerrero has an $8 million offer, “which is about $3.5 million (including incentives) more than the O’s range”.

Here’s the update for you…

As for the bit about the two sides drawing closer, I was told tonight that the Orioles situation hasn’t changed since yesterday and those in the organization -who feel they are the only team in on the bidding –  still aren’t overly optimistic they will land Vlad.

One source said they’d “be shocked” if the situation changed drastically enough that there was an announcement of an agreement between the two sides before FanFest.  Sorry, but no one is jumping out from behind a curtain on Saturday morning. Even if the two sides did a 180 and agreed to terms, they’d have to wait a few days for a physical to make it official. But as it stands right now, they aren’t close to an agreement.

As for Guerrero’s camp saying there’s another -much better – offer on the table, I would think this is just a negotiating tactic. If he really had a deal like that on the table, why even wait around? Why not just sign with that team?  Particularly since Vlad didn’t hide his underwhelming response to the Orioles offer, with several outlets saying he wasn’t happy with the proposed offer.

The Orioles aren’t paying him $8 million. They don’t have the money and they don’t feel he’s worth it. As I’ve said before, there’s concern over how much he has left in the tank and how motivated he is to play for another one-year deal.

The Orioles think this is a one-team fight and are hesitant to drive up their offer. They want him, but on their terms.  If there is a mystery team that swoops in, and really only Guerrero’s agents know, they won’t be devastated. They have Luke Scott and Felix Pie/Nolan Reimold as a platoon in left field.

If they do get Vlad, what the organization is leaning toward doing is hanging on to everyone and let them battle it out this spring. So those of you who were asking about signing Guerrero and dangling Pie, Reimold or Scott for a starting pitcher can forget that notion, at least for right now. Pie is coming off an injury that forced him to miss most of last season and Reimold had a disastrous 2010 campaign. At this point, competition would be a welcome thing.

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