Vladimir Guerrero has made it known to the Yankees that he wants their DH spot. IMO, Raul Ibanez still the frontrunner to sign w/NYY as DH.
— Buster Olney (@Buster_ESPN) February 13, 2012
It's typical for players to reach out to teams like this, especially now, when Spring Training is just around the corner, and they have yet to sign a deal. Knowing that the Yankees are in need of a reputable DH that can provide power and play everyday, it makes sense that Guerrerro, of all the hitters left in the DH pool, would make himself available.
He's wise to the Yankees' reputation of signing stars; there is no question that Guerrerro is a future and possible first-ballot Hall of Famer, the stats speak for themselves. He's also wise to the fact that the Yankees offer the best situation for him to play and get back to the postseason, since many of the true contending teams in the AL (Red Sox, Tigers, Angels, Blue Jays, etc.) are in no immediate need for a designated hitter.
But Guerrerro's offering comes a bit too late in his career. He is coming off of a season where his power numbers dropped significantly enough from the year before. In 2010 with the Rangers, Guerrero's slash line read .300/.345/496 with 29 home runs and 115 RBIs. With the Orioles last year, those numbers dropped to .290/.317/.416, with only 13 homers and 63 RBIs. Guerrero also seems to have lost some speed on his bat. The graph below is a measurement of Guerrero's ISO or Isolated Power.
The drop from '10 to '11 is an indication of the decline in his bat speed. Power is what makes Guerrero marketable. He has nothing else to offer that the Yankees could possibly be looking for. He has no speed on the bases, and no longer possesses the powerful arm that made him such a threat as a right-fielder. As the DH spot will see many players from the Yankees lineup throughout the season, it makes more sense for the Yankees to have a DH that can be a reliable platoon player. From the pool of Yankee possibilities, Johnny Damon, Raul Ibanez and Andruw Jones are not as far removed from playing the outfield as Guerrero is, and possess more speed on the base paths. They are better options to relieve the Yankee starting outfielders when necessary.
Who do you think should be the Yankees DH? Add your comment below.
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