The Web continues to buzz with rumors that Vladimir Guerrero is headed this way, and everybody around here is scurrying to dismiss them. Only Andy MacPhail knows for sure if the O's have any real interest -- and he's not exactly stoking the hot stove on this one -- but that doesn't necessarily mean the Orioles won't trot Guerrero out at FanFest next Saturday.
The Vlad-to-the-Orioles speculation is based largely on agent talk and the fact that -- with Jim Thome, Manny Ramirez, Andruw Jones and Johnny Damon off the market -- there aren't a lot of places left for an aging DH to go.
Guerrero was hoping to make one more big score off his terrific comeback year for the Rangers, but nobody seems willing to give him the two-year deal he's believed to be seeking. If you believe the whispers around the Warehouse, the O's are not willing to spend a lot of money to fill a spot on the roster that is already filled adequately by Luke Scott, but if Guerrero becomes desperate enough to sign a one-year, incentive-laden contract, then they wouldn't mind bringing him in and using Luke in left field.
Of course, there are some possible variables in play. If Andy MacPhail is working on some kind of deal for a starting pitcher that includes Nolan Reimold, Felix Pie or Scott, then Guerrero might become more attractive.
If the price is right, I think Guerrero would be a low-risk gamble with a high upside. If he can jack up one more season like last year, he could be the final piece in a potentially explosive batting order that could truly change the subject at Oriole Park this summer.