Rangers agree on deal with Guerrero
One-year pact with option for second is pending physical
ARLINGTON -- The Rangers have reached an agreement with free-agent outfielder Vladimir Guerrero on a one-year contract with a mutual option for 2011, according to club sources.
The deal and an official announcement are pending a physical and Texas is hoping that will be completed on Monday. The salary is expected to be between $5.5 and $6 million with a $1 million buyout if the Rangers don't exercise their option. Guerrero can opt out of the second year, but does not get the buyout.Texas went into the offseason looking for a right-handed bat that could be a presence in the middle of its lineup. Guerrero was at the top of its list and the deal was finally completed this weekend. The Rangers are set in the outfield with Josh Hamilton in left, Julio Borbon in center, Nelson Cruz in right and David Murphy as their fourth outfielder. That will allow Guerrero to get most or all of his at-bats as the designated hitter. He will likely bat cleanup behind Hamilton although that will eventually be decided by manager Ron Washington. The Angels did not offer Guerrero arbitration so they will not get a Draft choice as compensation. He was a Type-B free agent, meaning the Rangers would not have lost a Draft choice anyway by signing him. Guerrero, who turns 35 in February, played in 100 games for the Angels in 2009 and hit .295 with 15 home runs and 50 RBIs in 383 at-bats. He had a .334 on-base percentage and a .460 slugging percentage. He only played two games in the outfield while getting the rest of his at-bats as a designated hitter. He missed time on the disabled list with a torn chest muscle and a strained left knee, but still helped the Angels to their third straight division title and fifth in six years. Guerrero hit .378 (14-for-37) with one home run and seven RBIs in nine playoff games. Guerrero, a 14-year veteran who was the American League's Most Valuable Player in 2004, has a career batting average of .321, fourth highest among all active players. He is ninth among active players with 407 career home runs and 11th with 1,318 RBIs. Guerrero was also the Rangers' arch-nemesis during his six years with the Angels. He had a career .396 batting average against them that is the highest for any opponent with at least 150 at-bats. His .461 on-base percentage was the second highest and his .666 slugging percentage was the third highest of any Texas opponent in club history. In 102 games and 389 at-bats against the Rangers, Guerrero had 73 runs scored, 33 doubles, 24 home runs and 68 RBIs. He has played 50 games at the Ballpark in Arlington and is hitting .394 there with 14 home runs, 33 RBIs and a .705 slugging percentage. That's the highest batting average and the second-highest slugging percentage of any player with at least 120 career at-bats in Texas' home park. Guerrero, a native of the Dominican Republic, was originally signed by the Montreal Expos in 1993 and made his Major League debut as a September callup in '96. As a rookie he hit .302 with 11 home runs and 40 RBIs over 90 games and 325 at-bats in '97 for Montreal. He had a breakout year in 1998, hitting .324 with 38 home runs and 109 RBIs. He was the 13th in the National League Most Valuable Player voting. In '99 he made the first of eight All-Star appearances. Guerrero left the Expos after the 2003 season and signed as a free agent with the Angels. He won the AL MVP Award in 2004 by hitting .337 with 39 home runs and 126 RBIs. He also led the American League with 124 runs scored. Guerrero has played in 29 playoff games with a career postseason average of .286 with two home runs and 14 RBIs.
T.R. Sullivan is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.