Monday, July 1, 2013

Ex-Twins watch: Matt Guerrier

Matt Guerrier goes into a handstand during
batting practice, to the amusement of teammate
Brandon League.
The news Sunday that Matt Guerrier had been designated for assignment by the Los Angeles Dodgers prompted me to visit his Baseball Reference page to review his career.

He had a nice run with the Twins, starting out as the long man/mop up guy and working his way into a key set-up role. He had five straight seasons (one with the Dodgers) in which he made at least 70 appearances, and he twice led the league while with the Twins in games pitched.

All that work — plus the fact that he's in his mid-30s now — probably took a toll on his arm. Guerrier spent most of 2012 on the Dodgers' disabled list, and while he was back on a 70-games-pitched pace this year, he wasn't effective (a 4.80 ERA doesn't cut it anywhere, but particularly in pitcher-friendly Chavez Ravine).

And so the Dodgers — in last place in the NL West but only four games out of first — decided to eat the remaining $2 million or so of his contract and move on.

It's possible that Guerrier will land somewhere once he's cleared waivers and been given his release; he has a track record, and the Dodgers will be on the hook for the $2 million. But it won't be in Minnesota. The Twins don't have a bullpen problem (even if the relief crew got torched Sunday by the Royals), and even if they had an opening, they have younger and presumably more talented options in their minor league system to go to first.

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