Vladimir Guerrero received his new Orioles' jersey from manager Buck Showalter, and said, "I’ve been feeling very much at home, they are like family here."
Guerrero passed his physical, making official today his one-year, $8 million deal with the Orioles. In a news conference this afternoon in a room adjacent to the clubhouse at Ed Smith Stadium and attended by Jeremy Guthrie and Adam Jones among others, the 36-year-old slugger said that he's not thinking about retirement and he just wants to stay healthy and help the Orioles win.
"Hopefully, God-willing, I’m going to have a healthy, productive year," he said, speaking through agent and translator, Fernando Cuza. "I’d like to stay in the lineup like I did last year. If I stay in the lineup, I feel like I can be very productive."
Guerrero currently has 436 home runs, and has no plans on stopping there.
"I haven’t thought about retirement yet," he said. "My whole mindset is to have a good year, continue playing and if I stay healthy and things keep going well for me, I’m going to continue playing. Five hundred home runs is definitely something I’m after. And whatever comes after that."
The news conference was pretty anti-climactic, but Guerrero did garner some laughs when he said, "Since I was little, I’ve always swung at bad pitches.”
Before putting his signature to a contract and getting Guerrero to do the same, president of baseball of operations Andy MacPhail lauded the player's achievements, and thanked team owner Peter Angelos.
"It’s rare when you get a chance to introduce someone who has had over 10 seasons of 100-plus RBIs, he’s been an MVP award winner, lifetime .320 hitter, and I can’t remember in recent memory where we’ve made a signing that has generated as much enthusiasm as this one has.
"I would be remiss if I really did not thank ownership for this. I blew past a couple numbers that we had agreed on and this signing certainly takes us there. I think we’ll have a payroll in excess of $20 million where we were a year ago. This is really ownership’s objective to try to capture and sustain the momentum that we showed when Buck came on board in August and we played with almost a .600 winning percentage. We’re very grateful to Peter and his family to be able to make this announcement today."
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