While nothing is official yet, and Baltimore Orioles' GM Andy MacPhail denying reports that a deal with Vladimir Guerrero is close, it still could be fun to see what kind of fit Vlad would be in Baltimore.
My initial thought of Vlad in Baltimore was that it was kind of an awkward fit; turning age 36 by Opening Day 2011, he'd probably make more sense for a contender in need of a DH. However, a look over potential contending teams and what they have planned for DH shows there doesn't appear to be any contenders even in need of a DH right now: Boston has David Ortiz, New York can split up at bats there with Jorge Posada and others, Tampa Bay just signed Manny Ramirez and Johnny Damon, Minnesota has Jim Thome and Jason Kubel, Chicago has Adam Dunn, Detroit as Victor Martinez, Texas is locked up with Michael Young's contract, Oakland has Hideki Matsui, and Los Angeles (if you even consider them contenders) has Bobby Abreu.
But is he even a fit in Baltimore, where the Orioles already have a solid DH in Luke Scott? Actually, he might be. Adding Vlad would likely push Luke Scott to LF, upgrading a position in which the Orioles had below replacement level production from last season. One other thing that I don't think should go understated here is name value. Guerrero is coming off of a great year as the primary DH of the American League champions, and well, hes Vladdy. Even for just 1 season, his name brings some value to Baltimore, and that can help bring fans to Camden Yards, something that franchise needs. I'm sure as heck Orioles' fans would enjoy watching Vlad manage to slash base hits while swinging a foot outside the strikezone and being a force in their home park.
When you get into that statistical end of things, it looks like an even greater fit. Camden Yards is even more homer-friendly than Texas, especially for right-handed hitters according to StatCorner's park factors, and by a significant margin too: 105 is the homerun park factor for right-handed batters at Arlington. It's 126 at Camden Yards. Fangraphs' Fans have Guerrero projected for a .344 wOBA over 555 plate appearances, good enough for a +1 WAR. I tend to believe that projections is a little pessimistic, especially if he lands in the friendly confines of Camden Yards. ZiPS sees Guerrero with a 117 OPS+, not a big fall off from his 122 OPS+ of last year, and this projection is based on being with Texas. I'd be curious to see what his projection would look like if adjusted for playing in Baltimore. But would a repeat of his 2010 season be out of the question? I don't think it would.
Now, is the addition of Guerrero's +1 to +2.5 wins going to make a difference in Baltimore being a contender or not? No, it won't. They might still be destined for a last place finish, but a key thing to note here is that they are at least showing their fanbase they are trying to field a competent baseball team. With the additions of Vlad, Mark Reynolds (hes going to love that park), J.J. Hardy, Derrek Lee, and a healthy Brian Roberts, the Orioles would have quietly done a solid job of reshaping their team this offseason. They may not all be sexy names, but if you look at the kind of production the Orioles received from most of those positions last year: -1.1 fWAR from 1B, +1 fWAR from 2B, -0.7 fWAR from SS, 0 fWAR from 3B, you can see they should be upgrades and not be a total embarrassment to the more-deserving folks of Baltimore.