12/08/09 4:29 PM EST
Vlad aims for two-year deal
Outfielder could settle for one-year contract to return to Angels
By Lyle Spencer / MLB.com
If he remains in Anaheim -- where, he said, his mother is comfortable -- Guerrero could reestablish his thunder with the bat and his health, having had time to recover from multiple ailments that derailed his 2009 season. Showing that he's still a productive offensive force would enhance his marketability next offseason.
A prideful man who loves playing the entire game, not just hitting, Guerrero also could demonstrate he's still capable of playing right field -- a goal of his -- while continuing to handle designated-hitter assignments.
Guerrero's value in other locales could hinge on how those clubs' rosters come together. Vlad has flourished in the home parks of all three American League West rivals -- the Rangers, Mariners and Athletics -- and those teams might be tempted to bring him aboard in order to gain ground on the three-time reigning division champions.
After 12 consecutive seasons hitting at least .300 and 11 straight 25-homer or more seasons, Guerrero slipped to .295 and 15 homers with 50 RBIs in only 100 games in '09. He began the season recovering from knee surgery and went on the DL twice, with a torn pectoral muscle and a leg ailment.
Finally healthy for the postseason, he led the Angels with a .378 average with three doubles, a homer and seven RBIs in nine games.
Another Angels free agent, Robb Quinlan, is starting to generate some interest. The Rockies and Twins both have expressed interest, according to his agent, Joe Speed, and the versatile right-handed hitter makes sense in both places.
Colorado's vast territory is ideally suited for his hitting style, which revolves around making contact to all fields with a compact stroke. In opportunities for extended playing time earlier in his Angels career, Quinlan proved to be a .300-caliber hitter capable of handling all four corner positions.
The Twins are his hometown team, and his versatility, bat and winning personality would fit nicely in manager Ron Gardenhire's scheme of things.
Quinlan, 32, has seen his at-bats decline every season since 2006, when he hit .321 with a .491 slugging mark in 234 at-bats. He's a .281 career hitter in 435 games and is in free agency for the first time.
Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.