Blue Jays sign Vladimir Guerrero to minor-league deal

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Vladimir Guerrero recently asked for and received tryouts with the Indians and Diamondbacks, but neither team decided to sign him.

However, the 37-year-old former MVP has finally found a taker: Ken Rosenthal of FOXSports.com reports that Guerrero has agreed to a minor-league contract with the Blue Jays that will be worth a prorated share of $1.3 million if/when he reaches the majors.

For now Guerrero will head to extended spring training and try to convince the Blue Jays’ decision-markers that he’s not washed up after posting career-lows in on-base percentage (.317), slugging percentage (.416) and OPS (.733) in 145 games for the Orioles last season.

Guerrero is basically only a designated hitter option at this point because he can’t play the outfield regularly and is brutal defensively when he does, but Adam Lind has been terrible and the Blue Jays could potentially move Edwin Encarnacion to first base to open up the DH spot.

UPDATE: Jonah Keri of Grantland notes that Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos was an Expos fan/employee, so there might be a bit of nostalgia in the signing.

MLB rejected Players’ 114-game season proposal, will not send a counter

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Ken Rosenthal of The Athletic reports that Major League Baseball has rejected the MLBPA’s proposal for a 114-game season and said it would not send a counter offer. The league said it has started talks with owners “about playing a shorter season without fans, and that it is ready to discuss additional ideas with the union.”

This should be understood as a game of chicken.

The background here is that the the owners are pretty much locked into the idea of paying players a prorated share of their regular salaries based on number of games played. The players, meanwhile, are pretty much locked in to the idea that the owners can set the length of the season that is played. Each side is trying to leverage their power in this regard.

The players proposed a probably unworkable number of games — 114 — as a means of setting the bidding high on a schedule that will work out well for them financially. Say, a settled agreement at about 80 games or so. The owners were rumored to be considering a counteroffer of a low number of games — say, 50 — as a means of still getting a significant pay cut from the players even if they’re being paid prorata. What Rosenthal is now reporting is that they won’t even counter with that.

Which is to say that the owners are trying to get the players to come off of their prorated salary rights under the threat of a very short schedule that would end up paying them very little. They won’t formally offer that short schedule, however, likely because (a) they believe that the threat of uncertain action is more formidable; and (b) they don’t want to be in the position of publicly demanding fewer baseball games, which doesn’t look very good to fans. They’d rather be in the position of saying “welp, the players wouldn’t talk to us about money so we have no choice, they forced us into 50 games.”

In other news, the NBA seems very close to getting its season resumed.