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Vlad to the Mets?


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This according to Newsday and appearing in Sun-Sentinel: Mets and O's are two horse race for Vlad. Here is the article:

 

Mets vs. O's -- not Marlins -- for Guerrero

 

By David Lennon

Newsday

Posted January 9 2004

 

The Mets, sensing Vladimir Guerrero has cooled on the Orioles, seized the opportunity to make their own offer yesterday. They pitched a three-year deal worth slightly more than $30 million that with incentives could raise the total package to roughly $40 million, according to a person familiar with the situation.

 

A source indicated last night that the pursuit of Guerrero now is a two-team race between the Mets and the Orioles.

 

On Tuesday, Mets general manager Jim Duquette said the team had a short-term interest in rightfielder Guerrero, the star of this offseason's free-agent class. Duquette also said he was staying in contact with Guerrero's agents despite reports that at least two other teams, believed to be the Orioles and Dodgers, had offers of five or more years on the table.

 

The Dodgers seem to be out of the picture now and the Orioles have appeared to be bidding against themselves. The Mets, meanwhile, quietly prepared a three-year offer in the hope that the reports that Guerrero wants to stay in the National League are true.

 

It appears that the Mets' patience could pay off. A person familiar with Guerrero's thinking said yesterday that he has grown reluctant to sign with Baltimore, and with the Mets suddenly stepping up as a reasonable alternative, Guerrero could opt for less long-term security to make the deal happen. The Orioles' standing offer of five years and $65 million is below what Guerrero expected to get this offseason, and when Baltimore failed to sweeten its deal yesterday, that opened the door for the Mets.

 

Besides Guerrero's preference to remain in the NL, New York's large Dominican population could help sway him. As the weeks passed and Guerrero remained unsigned, there was some thought he might consider a one-year deal, as Ivan Rodriguez did last season with the Marlins, to prove his back is healthy and then cash in.

 

Guerrero missed 37 games last season because of a herniated disc in his back, and a one-year trial period would ease concerns about any lingering injury. The Mets' early trepidation about pursuing Guerrero was understandable, given their recent history of high-priced busts, and yesterday's announcement that Mo Vaughn's career likely is over is a glaring example of the financial quicksand they are hoping to avoid in the future.

 

Vaughn, pushed into virtual retirement because of his arthritic left knee, said yesterday the condition has not improved since the end of last season.

 

"The fact of the matter is that it does not look good at all for playing," Vaughn said. "But you never know. There might be someone who comes along, by the grace of God, with some medicine, a shot or something."

 

Vaughn still is guaranteed $32.45 million. Fortunately for the Mets, they are expected to recoup 75 percent of that whopping sum through insurance, but just the thought of repeating such a mistake has been enough to scare the club's decision-makers into adopting a more cautious approach.

 

Vaughn, who stopped short of using the word "retirement" yesterday, played only 27 games last season before he was placed on the disabled list May 3. The club has been collecting insurance on his contract since the 90-day deductible expired July 31. Vaughn was scheduled to earn $10 million in 2004 (with another $5 million deferred), but the Mets still will have to stretch their budget to squeeze Guerrero into what was projected to be an $80-million payroll.? ? ?

Copyright ? 2004, South Florida Sun-Sentinel

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this will not happen. if our recent experiences with Pudge tell us anything, players always, always, always take the money. in 3 years, Vlad will be 30, and he will be worth markedly less in a long-term deal. this is his time to sign a big deal, and he will.

I don't know about that. He's different than Pudge in that he doesn't play the toughest position in the game, he just need to dispell the "damaged goods" label. Pudge did that but he IS a catcher and he IS in his 30's. Vlad could have a MVP year and then really bank in 05

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