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The Toronto Blue Jays took a chance on Vladimir Guerrero, signing him to a minor-league deal Thursday.
Ken Rosenthal says it's a wake-up call to the scuffling Adam Lind, whose ground-ball increase has sapped a chunk of his power. His increased walk rate and patience are positives, but he's rolling over too many offerings, and his loss of aggressiveness actually seems to be working against him. He's droppable in shallow mixed leagues and should be riding deep-mixed pine.
Edwin Encarnacion's hot start has him as the undisputed first baseman, and if Guerrero makes his way up to the bigs, he could be a DH platoon alternative to the lefty-hitting Lind. Any notion of consistent outfield time is a pipe dream.
Vlad the Impaler hacks, and in two previously hitter-friendly environments (Texas, Baltimore), he filled many a deep-league power need. But can his lack of walks hold up another season if his bat speed slows? Count on pop - double-digit homers in 300-ish at-bats - ahead of batting average.
At least AL-only leaguers who stashed him - there have to be some - lucked out that he landed in another favorable home digs and lineup. Guerrero shouldn't be a single-universe free agent. Deep mixers can watch him. If they add him now, they'll probably have a black hole on their roster for at least a few weeks while he gets back in game shape. The payoff could be moderately appealing, though, so play it by ear.
About Tim Heaney
Tim's work has been featured by USA Today/Sports Weekly, among numerous outlets, and recognized as a finalist in the Fantasy Sports Writers Association awards. The Boston University alum competes in Tout Wars and LABR and has won several industry leagues in both baseball and football.
During baseball and football season, hear him every Wednesday on 1570 AM WNST in Baltimore. On Thursdays, he visits 106.1 FM WMTI in New Orleans and Sirius XM Fantasy Sports Radio, where he often crashes other shows, as well.
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