SARASOTA, Fla. -- Vladimir Guerrero arrived at the
Baltimore Orioles' spring training facility before 9 a.m. ET Wednesday,
changed out of his street clothes and met up with a team doctor to
take his physical.
In keeping with the slugger's usual demeanor, he made a quiet
entrance. The thunderous sounds typically come from his bat.
The 36-year-old Guerrero agreed to terms on a one-year, $8
million contract Feb. 4, but scheduling conflicts kept delaying
his examination. The tentative plan calls for the Orioles to
announce his signing and introduce him to the media Friday.
"That's huge," reliever Mike Gonzalez said. "He's always
been a presence when he gets up there. And it doesn't matter what
age he is, he still swings that bat. And it's one of those things
where you don't throw the pitch around his head and you don't throw
it at his ankles, because you don't know what he's going to do with
"It's a definite upgrade to the lineup. It's going to be good.
It's going to be a good year."
Guerrero is a career .320 hitter with 436 home runs in 15
major league seasons, but the market dried up for him this winter. The Orioles weren't initially looking to sign a designated hitter,
but he practically fell into their laps.
"He's a professional hitter," said reliever Clay Rapada,
Guerrero's teammate last year in Texas. "He's been in the thick of
a lot of great lineups and I think he's going to help this
organization a lot. He's not really vocal. I consider him like a
quiet storm. You see it, but you just don't hear it."
That was evident Wednesday, when Guerrero opted against talking
to the media.
Guerrero is remembered in Baltimore for lining a single at
Camden Yards on a Chris Tillman pitch that bounced in front of the
"Now I don't have to worry about calling a pitch that bounces
and somebody hits it. That's always good," catcher Matt Wieters
Guerrero will bat fourth as the designated hitter in the Orioles
revamped lineup, which also includes third baseman Mark Reynolds,
first baseman Derrek Lee and shortstop J.J. Hardy. Luke Scott is
expected to play left field after serving as the primary DH last
"His track record, you can pencil him into the cleanup spot. I
think that throws away a lot of question marks and makes things
easier," center fielder Adam Jones said.