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.
Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports reports that Major League Baseball has banned all transactions with Liga Mexicana de Beisbol (LMB), popularly known as the Mexican League. As of now, all 30 teams are prohibited from signing players under contract with LMB teams. The ban was issued due to Major League Baseball’s contention that “corruption” and “fraud” run rampant in the player acquisition process.
Passan describes the issues in detail, and they sound pretty compelling. The upshot: LMB clubs — which have full control over their players — are taking advantage of them, taking most if not all of the signing bonuses MLB teams give them after negotiating for their rights. Mexican teams often sign players when they’re 15 years-old so that, once they are old enough for American teams to approach them, they’re in the position to take a usurious cut.
Passan says Major League Baseball is demanding greater transparency from LMB before it’s willing to lift the ban. He also says that the MLBPA is in “lockstep” with Major League Baseball on the matter, which makes sense given that, if MLB’s claims are accurate, players are being exploited here. He also says that if LMB does not change its ways, there is a “Plan B,” though it’s not clear what that is.
There aren’t a ton of Mexican players signed by MLB teams each year, but there are enough to make this a significant issue that is worth watching.