Designated hitter Vladimir Guerrero is officially an Oriole. He passed his physical and finalized the one-year, $8 million agreement he reached with the club on Feb. 4.
Guerrero, who turned 36 last week, will likely move right into the cleanup spot in the Orioles lineup and push Luke Scott out of the DH role and into left field. He was the final piece in the offensive overhaul that also included the acquisition of power-hitting third baseman Mark Reynolds, veteran first baseman Derrek Lee and shortstop J.J. Hardy.
It took longer than usual to get Guerrero together with the Orioles medical staff, but he was not required to report to training camp until Sunday. Pitchers and catchers – and a number of position players – have been working out at the Ed Smith Stadium training complex since Monday, but the first official full-squad workout is on Monday. Guerrero has been in the clubhouse at Ed Smith the past two days, but hasn't worked out or taken batting practice as he awaited the physical results.
A news conference with Guerrero, Orioles president of baseball operations Andy MacPhail and manager Buck Showalter will take place this afternoon,
The addition of the potential Hall of Fame slugger has been well-received by Orioles fans, who watched the O’s struggle to score runs for much of the 2010 season. Guerrero has 436 career homers and rebounded from a disappointing 2009 performance with the Los Angeles Angels to help lead the Texas Rangers to their first World Series.
He batted .300 with 29 homers and 115 RBI, but his numbers tailed off during the second half of the season and he struggled in the postseason, batting just .200 with 16 strikeouts in 15 games.
The contract calls for a $5 million base salary and $3 million in deferred compensation.
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