Vladimir Guerrero to play winter ball for Licey

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Vladimir Guerrero, who sat out most of the 2012 season after not finding any offers to his liking in free agency, will play winter ball in his native Dominican Republic.

The popular Licey Tigers announced that he’d join the team on Nov. 4.

Guerrero signed a minor league deal with the Blue Jays in May, only to ask for his release the next month when the team still wasn’t ready to call him up. He went 9-for-20 with four homers in four games for Single-A Dunedin and 10-for-11 with no homers in eight games for Triple-A Las Vegas.

If you believe his listed age, Vladdy is still only 37. Still, he can no longer play the field regularly and he doesn’t offer a whole lot of power from the DH spot. If he wants to give MLB another shot in 2013, he’ll probably have to take a minor league deal that would leave him with a modest salary even if he did make the team. That’s not something he was interested in doing a year ago.

Nationals Acquire Ryan Raburn From White Sox

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The Washington Nationals have acquired outfielder Ryan Raburn from the Chicago White Sox. Raburn had been playing at Triple-A Charlotte. He’ll be assigned to Triple-A Syracuse in the Nats organization. The Nationals will send cash or a player to be named later to the White Sox to complete the deal.

Raburn has yet to play in the majors this season. Last year he hit .220/.309/.404 with nine homers in 113 games for the Colorado Rockies. The year before that he hit an excellent .301/.393/.543 in part time play for the Indians. Over the course of his 11 year career the 36-year-old has hit .253/.317/.436, which breaks down to an OPS+ of exactly 100, which is league average. Primarily an outfielder, Raburn has played every position except shortstop and catcher in his career. He’s even pitched twice.

The Nats plans for him aren’t entirely clear, but depth it depth.

If the Tigers are sub-.500 at the end of June it’ll be fire sale time

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Jon Morosi reports that that the Detroit Tigers will make all veterans available via trade if they’re still under .500 by the end of June.

This was the position they entered the offseason with — everyone is available! — but they ended up gearing up for one more push with the core of veterans they currently employ. It was not a bad move, I don’t think. With the exception of the Indians, the AL Central is mostly down, or at least appeared to be over the winter, with the Royals in decline and the Twins and White Sox seemingly a few years away from contention. The Twins, however, have been fantastic and the Tigers have mostly underachieved.

So we’re back to this. Which veterans the Tigers can reasonably unload, however, is an open question. J.D. Martinez is in his walk year, so while tradable, he may not bring back a big return. Guys like Justin Upton, Justin Verlander and Miguel Cabrera either have very large contracts or no-trade protection.

The end of June is still a while from now, of course, and while the Tigers are under .500, they’re only 4.5 games behind the Twins. But they had better turn it around or else it sounds like the front office is going to turn the page.