Originally written on Full Spectrum Baseball  |  Last updated 3/14/12
Padres_v_angels_c876

I’ve been spending a fair amount of time lately on Twitter, and the other day, @uniformcritic had an interesting tweet. To any baseball history fan unfamiliar with @uniformcritic, he’s worth a follow, generally providing vintage baseball photos and sometimes-rare film. On Sunday, though, he departed from form to tweet:

Vladimir Guerrero hit .290 last season and he can't find a job? Hard to believe. March 11, 2012 10:40 am via webReplyRetweetFavorite @uniformcritic Stirrups Now!

I have mixed feelings. Sure, Guerrero hit .290 last season. But he did it against an OPS+ of 101 and an aging-Joe-Carter-esque WAR of 0.1. Even by traditional numbers, Guerrero’s 2011 campaign with the Baltimore Orioles was nothing special. In nearly 600 plate appearances, Guerrero had 13 home runs and 63 RBI, and for hitting .290, his 17 walks made for an anemic .317 on-base percentage.

Slow-footed outfielders approaching 40 have been down the road Guerrero’s on before, and it generally doesn’t get any better. I’m reminded of Joe Carter, Sammy Sosa, Jose Canseco, and so many others. So the question is: Where to now, Vladimir Guerrero?

I see a few options for the current free agent and former all-world right fielder who in his prime was good for at least 30 home runs, 30 stolen bases, and an average somewhere around .330:

  1. Guerrero can retire: At 37, with 449 home runs, a .318 lifetime batting, and nine All Star appearances, there is no shame in this. According to Baseball-Reference.com, Guerrero’s already banked $125 million in his career. In his prime, he was one of the best in baseball. Unless steroid rumors surface, he’ll probably have an eventual, deserved spot in Cooperstown.
  2. Guerrero can accept a part-time role on a contender: This is easier said than done. With limited defensive abilities and just 20 games in the field since 2009, Guerrero might not make even a passable backup outfielder. He’s no pinch runner, and as a right-handed batter, he isn’t a great pinch hitting option, either. But he might fit somewhere on a team like the Yankees, who are glutted with a veritable senior center of options at designated hitter but play in a ballpark Guerrero is hitting .375 in, thus far.
  3. Guerrero can find a second-tier team willing to start him: Again, easier said than done. Guerrero went this route for 2011 and it equaled his one-and-done campaign with Baltimore. I don’t know what other American League team has an opening. The Royals have Billy Butler at designated hitter. The Mariners have Jesus Montero. The Athletics have what looks to be market corner on mediocre outfielders. Guerrero could try to find a weak-hitting National League like the Pirates or Astros willing to take a flyer on his glove, but that’s nothing to postpone retirement over.
  4. Guerrero can head to the independent or international circuits: The Atlantic League can offer Guerrero a chance for gaudy numbers. It’s where Carl Everett, Edgardo Alfonzo and so many others wound up in their mid-3os after their time in the show was up. Japan might be able to offer Guerrero more money, if that’s what he’s after at this point.

So those are Guerrero’s options as I see them, none of the possibilities particularly great. But it’s still a better end run in baseball than that of Sosa, Canseco, and so many others of Guerrero’s generation. Coming on the heels of the Steroid Era, that has to be good for something.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Phil Jackson is the architect of a Finals contender

Marcus Mariota 'eating up' Tennessee Titans offense

Eagles insider: Tebow 'has a ways to go' after Tuesday OTA

Cromartie: Richard Sherman is a product of Seahawks system

Prince Shembo’s girlfriend says he was jealous of dog

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Bruce Arians: Talk of Daryl Washington a 'waste of breath'

Gerald McCoy keeps the Jameis Winston hype in check

Gronkowski family to appear on 'Family Feud'

WATCH: Lloyd McClendon has all-time meltdown

Drew Bledsoe defends Tom Brady over Deflategate

Did Heat offer Dwyane Wade less than $10 million per season?

Yankees now the favorite in American League East

Blackhawks-Lightning Stanley Cup Final: Key matchups

JR Smith shares photo calling Bruce Jenner a 'science project'

Joey Gallo arrives in Texas

Dinosaur in Chicago won't wear Blackhawks jersey this year

Can these struggling contenders get back in the playoff picture?

Texas recruit 'tanks academics' so he can play for Oklahoma?

Indians bullpen holds Brandon Moss' 100th homer ball ransom

Bryce Harper takes on-field selfie with fan’s phone

Yahoo to openly, freely stream NFL game from London

Mariota tops Jameis Winston, Tom Brady in jersey sales

Adrian Peterson's return puts jolt into Vikings for 2015

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Yankees now the AL East favorite

Joey Gallo arrives in Texas

NBA Finals preview: Cavs offense vs. Warriors defense

USA Women’s World Cup: No excuse not to win

Projecting rosters for the 2015 MLB All-Star Game

What Peterson's return means

The Bulls and the culture of fitting in

X-factors for Cavs and Warriors

Pujols: Angels not 'Mike Trout show'

Adrian Peterson returns to Vikings

Chicago Bulls agree to deal with Fred Hoiberg

NBA should have 'legacy contracts' for long-time players

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.