MacPhail is playing his cards well with Guerrero

No truth to a rumor that, while walking into the warehouse Wednesday Andy MacPhail saw his shadow and that means six more weeks of Vladimir Guerrero rumors. Can anyone even stand six more hours of this? I'm still waiting to find out who offered Guerrero that $8 million dollar deal. Yeah, right. I think MacPhail has handled this situation/negotiation with Guerrero perfectly. He is not going to bid against himself and if Guerrero falls to the Orioles, he'll take him. But clearly, the O's are not desperate for Vlad and he surely doesn't seem desperate to be an Oriole. The O's offer of somewhere between a $3-5 million seems fair when you consider that Jim Thome got $3 million from Minnesota and Manny Ramirez got $2 million from Tampa. Hideki Matsui got $4.25 million from Oakland and Johnny Damon $5.25 million from Tampa. It's not about what Garrett Atkins got last year, by the way, or which player is better. It's about what the current market conditions are for this player. That is the ballpark they are currently playing in for this negotiation and MacPhail is getting it right here. When the free agent season began the Orioles were not eyeing Guerrero and had no interest in adding a DH. But now here they are, eyeing each other. If Guerrero signs here, would the Orioles be getting an angry player looking to show the baseball world why more teams should have been looking at him? Or a player angry that he has to settle for a club that won just 66 games last season in what could be his last season? In a way, it's almost like the Orioles were set with their lineup but hey, this player is out here and has almost nowhere else to go. That's another question with all this. Why has there been such a lack of interest in a player that drove in 115 runs last year? Tampa, a team considered to be pretty smart, took Damon and Ramirez over Guerrero? The Angels, who took on $70 million with the trade of Vernon Wells and are a team that knows Guerrero well, can't give him $5 or $6 million? Not only are teams not rushing to get this guy, they seem to be running the other way. This has all been quite strange. The Orioles fans have been buzzing the message boards daily with Guerrero talk. It appears they would be very excited if he signed and upset if he doesn't. Everyone seems to assume this will end any day now. But, heck, Vlad doesn't need much of a spring training and probably could sign in mid-March and be good to go by opening day. Let's sure hope this doesn't drag out that long. I'll repeat my earlier analogy that it's like the kid's game musical chairs. At the end, Vlad may be the only kid left and the Orioles may be the only chair.

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