Friday, January 28, 2011

A Mystery Team in January? How Novel!

According to Buster Olney, Vladmir Guerrero has received a one year $8M contract from an unnamed mystery team, but has decided to continue shopping around for the time being.

Really?  So you're telling me that some team met Vlad's demands for a one year $8M deal, and he's still shopping?  I'm not saying Buster is wrong (he's just reporting the information he's being fed), but something doesn't seem right.   As soon as I read the report, two things came to mind.  One, don't Jon Heyman and Scott Boras have the market cornered on mystery teams?  Two, why is Vlad still reportedly talking to the Orioles?

According to recent reports, Vlad was unimpressed by the Orioles "low ball" offer of one year $2M.  If I had an ideal offer from one team, and I was made an insulting offer from another, I would stop negotiating immediately.  That's just me though.  Furthermore, the Orioles have stated they only have $4.5M (maximum) to spend, and they still would like to add another arm to their bullpen.  That pretty much precludes them from getting anywhere close to matching the unnamed mystery team's offer. 

So what's Vlad's upside to continue negotiating when he has a perfectly good $8M offer from another team?  There isn't one.  The problem is that like all great mystery teams, they don't exist.  Vlad hasn't received an $8M offer.  In fact, I wouldn't be surprised if the Orioles were the only team actively negotiating with Team Vlad.  They're using this "offer" to try and gain some leverage on the Orioles.  Unfortunately for Vlad and his agent, this maneuver is so transparent that no one in their right mind (not even Jon Heyman, the master behind the mystery team) believes him.

In a semi-related note, if the Orioles do end up being successful in signing Guerrero, word is that Luke Scott will move to LF, and Felix Pie will be the odd man out. 

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