When Rangers President Nolan Ryan speaks, people tend to listen. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact he's a living legend, or maybe it's because he's shown that he lacks the internal monologue most of us employ. Either way, he's direct, and you always know what's on his mind. Yesterday, he took some questions from fans at the Rangers fan fest, and had this to say about Vladmir Guererro.
"They were looking for a two-year contract and we had agreed with him and his agent that it was a mutual option this year, so we agreed to let them go out on the market and see what the market bared. And he hadn't been able, to this point, to get a two-year contract. Is there still a possibility that he could end up signing with us? Yeah, there is. But I'm not for sure what other interest is out there as far as he is concerned. I think that will play out in the next 20 days before spring training. ... You'd love to have that bat, another right-handed bat on the bench, or him DHing when Michael Young is playing a position. That will obviously come into play in the decision of where he's going to go. How many at-bats he thinks he's going to get somewhere."I would like to remind you that the last time Ryan left the door open to sign a free agent, that man was Adrian Beltre. Within a week, Beltre was a Ranger. I'm not predicting he'll sign with the Rangers. I'm not even saying there's a pattern here that we should keep an eye on. I'm just pointing out the similarities in the situations.
Much like the Beltre situation, there isn't an obvious fit for Guererro. The Rangers currently have Michael Young covering the DH spot, and there's absolutely no chance they give Vlad another shot to play the outfield; especially after his dreadful performance in Game 1 of the World Series. That leaves him with one option if he decides to sign with the Rangers--agree to a one year contract and be their part-time DH. Otherwise, he can continue to troll the free agent market in hopes of scoring a starting job with either the Orioles or Angels, both of whom are projected to be non-contenders. Both options have their benefits and drawbacks. It's almost like a poison pill. Such is the life of an aging slugger.