Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Guerrier Signs Three Year Deal with Dodgers

According to Ken Rosenthal, the Dodgers have agreed to terms with former Twins reliever Matt Guerrier on a 3 year $12M contract.  Guerrier had been linked to the Yankees and Red Sox, among other teams, this offseason.  The Red Sox appeared to be the most ardent of his suitors this offseason, but it appears the stakes got too high for Theo and Co.  Those who follow of the Red Sox know that Theo Epstein is not one to give middle relievers three year contracts for large sums of money.  My guess is that once the demands breached the 2 year $5-6M level, the Red Sox probably checked out of the negotiations.  

This signing appears to be another in a series of confusing moves by Ned Colletti and the Dodgers this offseason.  Guerrier, 32, has been one of the more underrated relief pitchers in baseball making at least 70 appearances in each of the last four seasons.  His ERA has remained below 3.50 in five of his six big league seasons despite the fact his FIP and peripherals don't support it.  Guerrier is a middle reliever who's fastball sits in the low-90s (2010 average fastball velocity was 90.6 MPH).  He neither induces a lot of strikeouts or ground balls, nor does he possess great control.  At 32 years old, he's unlikely to improve, but a move to the weaker league may help him see improvements in multiple categories including his strikeout and walk rates. 

Guerrier has accumulated a total of 1.6 WAR in his career (or 0.3 WAR per season).  At $5M per win, he'll need to be worth at least 0.8 WAR per season for the next three years, which is a total he's exceeded exactly once in his career (0.9 WAR in 2007).  While it wouldn't shock me to see him exceed that total, signing Guerrier isn't exactly a smart, calculated risk by Colletti.  The Dodgers have greater needs than filling holes in their bullpen.  For instance, they sorely need a hitter that can both get on base and hit for power.  While there aren't a lot of those hitters on the market, it would have been smart for them to have kicked the tires on one of the many undervalued bats that flooded the market this off season.

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