Vlad Guerrero wants to play two or three more years

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Vlad Guerrero has been hitting the ball well lately, leading the charge as the Orioles have done a damn fine job of playing spoiler in the American League wild card race.  Also, as Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun points out, he’s three hits behind Julio Franco for the record of most hits for a player from the Dominican Republic.

It’s enough to make the guy want to play a couple more years:

“I feel I can play two or three more years,” he said. “And I just need to work a little harder this offseason when I go to the Dominican and see what happens.”

He’s on a one-year deal with Baltimore. Overall he’s hitting .292/.320/.421 with 13 homers.  The recent surge notwithstanding, it’s hard for anyone to justify giving a guy like that with no defensive value whatsoever a contract.  I’m sure someone will because of the name, the fact that he’s well-liked within the game and the chance, however slight, that he still has a productive year in him.  But it’s certainly not a given.

Colin Poche, Rays go to arbitration just $125,000 apart

Colin Poche torn UCL
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ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – Reliever Colin Poche went to salary arbitration with the Tampa Bay Rays on Tuesday with the sides just $125,000 apart.

The gap between the $1.3 million the pitcher asked for and the $1,175,000 the team offered was the smallest among the 33 players who exchanged proposed arbitration figures last month. The case was heard by John Woods, Jeanne Vonhof and Walt De Treux, who will hold their decision until later this month.

A 29-year-old left-hander, Poche had Tommy John surgery on July 29, 2020, and returned to the major leagues last April 22 after six appearances at Triple-A Durham. Poche was 4-2 with a 3.99 ERA and seven saves in 65 relief appearances for the Rays. He struck out 64 and walked 22 in 58 2/3 innings.

Poche had a $707,800 salary last year.

Tampa Bay went to arbitration on Monday with reliever Ryan Thompson, whose decision also is being held until later this month. He asked for $1.2 million and the Rays argued for $1 million.

Rays right-hander Jason Adam and outfielder Harold Ramirez remain scheduled for hearings.

Players and teams have split four decisions thus far. All-Star pitcher Max Fried ($13.5 million) lost to Atlanta and reliever Diego Castillo ($2.95 million) was defeated by Seattle, while pitcher Jesus Luzardo ($2.45 million) and AL batting champion Luis Arraez ($6.1 million) both beat the Marlins.

A decision also is pending for Los Angeles Angels outfielder Hunter Renfroe.

Eighteen additional players are eligible for arbitration and hearings are scheduled through Feb. 17. Among the eligible players is Seattle utilityman Dylan Moore, who has a pending three-year contract worth $8,875,000.