Two days after the Texas Rangers lost in the World Series to the San Francisco Giants, they were busy making plans for the 2011 season.

On Wednesday, the Rangers declined their $9 million option on DH Vladimir Guerrero. Big Vlad hit .300/.345/.496 with 29 HRs in 152 games in 2010 for the Rangers.


Vlad’s option was declined by the Rangers

I think there are a couple of reasons the Rangers declined Guerrero’s option.

First, Guerrero really tailed off in the second half. After hitting .319/.364/.554 with 20 HRs in the first half, Vlad hit only .278/.322/.426 with nine HRs in the second half. On top of that, Vlad didn’t hit a HR in the postseason, and outside of one big hit against Phil Hughes, he didn’t hit at all in the postseason.

At 35, the Rangers are probably wondering if Vlad can make it through the entire season at a high level.

Second and the most important, paying an aging DH $9 million doesn’t make much sense. Even with Vlad’s great 2010 season, he only produced like a $10 million player, according to Fangraphs.

The odds are that Guerrero won’t put up the same numbers in 2011 as he did in 2010. So at $9 million, there is a very good chance that he won’t outperform his contract. Now at $4 to $5 million, however, there is a very good chance Vlad will outperform his contract.

And that’s why I think the Rangers will bring him back for around that amount.

Bringing back Vlad for $4 to $5 million makes sense, as he can still hit around 20 HRs if he can stay healthy. He also can still pound lefties, as he hit over .330 against southpaws in 2010.

Guerrero is now a free agent and free to sign with any team. But I fully expect him to be back in a Rangers’ uniform in 2011.

You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg

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