Vladimir Guerrero’s struggles on the free-agent market raise the question:
What happens next offseason to David Ortiz?
Both Guerrero and Ortiz are designated hitters. Both turn 36 this year. Both share the same agents, Fern Cuza and Diego Benz.
Could Ortiz misread the market as badly as Guerrero seemingly has?
Well, he misread Guerrero’s market, that’s for sure.
“I guarantee he will go back and play for Texas and get good money,” Ortiz told ESPNBoston.com in November. “You can put that down right now.
“I’m going to tell you one thing — he’ll get more than one year, too. You wait and see.”
Guerrero, barring a major surprise, is not going to land a multi-year deal. He also figures to take a significant pay cut from his $6.5 million salary despite coming off a 29-homer, 115-RBI season for the American League champion Rangers.
The Rangers offered Guerrero a one-year, $8.5 million contract early in the offseason, according to a major-league source. Guerrero, however, rejected the deal.
The Orioles, the team with seemingly the most current interest in signing Guerrero, are offering him between $3 million and $5 million, sources say.
Ortiz, too, could have become a free agent this offseason, but the Red Sox exercised his $12.5 million club option. He is coming off an even better season than Guerrero — Ortiz had an .899 OPS, Guerrero an .841. But few DHs in their mid- to late 30s command big money on the open market these days.
Guerrero, if he had accepted the Rangers’ offer, would have been an exception. Hideki Matsui, 36, signed with the A’s for $4.25 million. Jim Thome, 40, went to the Twins for $3 million. Manny Ramirez, 38, joined the Rays for $2 million.
Each of those players received only a one-year contract. Guerrero, Ortiz and Bobby Abreu, 36, could join them as free agents next offseason, creating an even more crowded market.
— Ken Rosenthal