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Blue Jays star Vladimir Guerrero Jr. says he would never sign with Yankees in free agency

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At some point in the next three years, Toronto Blue Jays prodigy Vladimir Guerrero Jr. will either sign a possible record-breaking contract extension to stay with the Blue Jays or become a free agent at age 26. good free agent hit that young. After the 2018 season, there was Bryce Harper and Manny Machado. Before them, it was Alex Rodriguez in 2000.

We can already cross off one team from the list of potential suitors if Guerrero becomes a free agent: the New York Yankees. During a recent interview with Vincent Carmon AriasVlad Jr. said he would never sign a contract with New York.

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“I love playing in New York. I like killing yanks. I would never sign with the Yankees, even (when I’m) dead,” Guerrero said (translation via Hector Gomez of Z101 Digital).

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For reference, Vlad Jr. is .289 / .346 / .518 hitter against the Yankees, including .289 / .344 / .579 with 10 homers in 31 games at Yankee Stadium. In April of this year in the Bronx, he had a game with three homers..

Of course, money can change minds, and Guerrero could rethink his position if the Yankees put $500 million on the table in three years. However, in recent years, the Yankees have developed a habit of ditching great free agents. They didn’t make much of an effort to sign Carlos Correa or Corey Seeger last offseason, or Harper or Machado four years ago. Refusing to pursue Vlad Jr. when the time comes would be out of character for him.

Guerrero, 23, continued his season as the 2021 AL season runner-up with a .274/.339/.480 hit and 32 home runs in 2022. He also won the Golden Glove at first base.. A year ago, Vlad Jr joined Hall of Famer Joe DiMaggio, Eddie Matthews and Johnny Bench as the only players in history to have played 45 seasons aged 22 or under. There is a long way to go between today and free will, but this is the trajectory that Guerrero is on. Players who do what he does become great for all time.

A few weeks ago, Guerrero told Gomez he was open to signing a long-term deal with Toronto.. “I feel very happy playing here. Hopefully something can be done in the offseason.” he added. Being open to a long-term deal and getting a discount are two big differences. The Yankees know this well after failing to sign probable AL MVP and future free agent Aaron Judge earlier this year.

Vlad Jr. will remain with the Blue Jays as an arbitration-eligible player until 2025. MLB Trade Rumors is projecting a salary of $14.8 million in 2023. and their model has proven to be accurate over the years. Here are the biggest deferrals ever given to players in the three years before free agency:

  1. Freddie Freeman, Braves: 8 years and $135 million
  2. Ryan Brown, Brewers: 6 years and $105 million with one year option
  3. Kyle Seager, Sailors: 7 years and $100 million with one year option
  4. Will Myers, Padre: 6 years and $83 million with one year option
  5. Justin Morno, Gemini: 6 years and $80 million

Myers’ contract is the most recent, having signed in January 2017, so while these are benchmarks for players who have three years left before their release, they are pretty dated. I’m sure the Blue Jays would have signed Guerrero Freeman tomorrow if he had agreed.

Keep in mind that Guerrero is already making very good money from arbitration, and his father, Hall of Famer Vladimir Guerrero Sr., has made over $125 million in his career. Money that will change the life of Vlad Jr. is not the same as money that will change the life of most players his age. He has leverage and can play tough during renewal negotiations because his family is already financially secure.

Juan Soto is due to become a free agent in two years, also at the age of 26. It’s pretty handy for Guerrero. He could let Soto establish a market for the 26-year-old superstar striker before agreeing to an extension. Guerrero (and Soto) must keep playing for this plan to work, but that would be the right thing to do if his priority was to sign the biggest deal possible.

It’s also possible that Guerrero is saying that my family has already been taken care of financially, so I don’t need every penny. I want to be happy and play for the winner. Something like that. At this point, the sales job becomes more of an organization and the Blue Jays have a big advantage over any other team. Vlad Jr. knows what they are about and how everything works.

Either Guerrero signs an extension with the Blue Jays or he becomes a free agent in three years. Yankees won’t be an option if he goes public, he said. He wants to beat the Yankees, not play for them.



Source: www.cbssports.com

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