Rangers Sign Vlad

I know I’m a little late on this; it’s been a busy week. The Rangers have signed Vladimir Guerrero to a one-year $5.5 million contract. The deal also includes a $9 million mutual option for 2011, which has a $1 million buyout if the club turns it down, and up to $900,000 in bonuses for days on the active roster. Thus, the deal guarantees Guerrero $6.5 million, and it sounds as if $7.4 million is a real possibility.

So, how do I value Vlad? 2010 was a down year, and not the kind where it was an obvious fluke. Sure, his batting average was down from his career norm—and this is especially bad for a guy who doesn’t walk much—but, he just looked old last year. Supposedly, he’s hurt enough that he will almost exclusively DH. Assuming his performance is somewhere between what it was in 2008 and 2009, I estimate Guerrero to be worth about $6.5 million next season.

And if last season was a fluke, and he really is more like his 2008 self, then he will be worth about $10 million in 2011. The option will be a reasonable one for the Rangers ($8 million; $9 mil — the $1 mil buyout they don’t have to pay), but not so much that Vlad won’t consider sticking around.

The deal seems spot on to me.

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