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Keep Dallas Observer Free
4

Your Texas Rangers Have Money! And Vladimir Guerrero!!

If you can't beat 'em, sign 'em?

For years Vladimir Guerrero tormented the Texas Rangers. Now, in a sign that new owner Chuck Greenberg has money and moxy and motivation, the Rangers will this week sign the free-agent slugger to a one-year contract.

While Tom Hicks, Jr. has some fun with Liverpool soccer fans ("Blow me, fuck face!" Really?), Greenberg's Rangers have gotten better. Marlon Byrd is gone, but so are tired, old pitchers Kevin Millwood and Vicente Padilla.

In Arlington next season: Pitcher Rich Harden. And the most feared bat of any Rangers' opponent the last 10 years.

If Vlad can stay healthy, the Rangers' offense can be scary.

But can he?

Physical problems (back and knees) have deteriorated the 34-year-old Guerrero into a designated hitter. Last season he played only 100 games, two in the outfield. His '09 stats were his worst since '98, but he's still a dangerous - evidenced by hitting .378 in the AL playoffs against the Red Sox and Yankees.

If nothing else, it's good just to not have Guerrero on the team the Rangers will compete with for the division crown. For six years Vlad has hit the Rangers to the tune of .360 with power and run-production and a hitting streak that seemed to span the aughts.

Better late than never.

And he looks pretty good in this lineup, no?

1. CF Julio Borbon

2. 3B Michael Young

3. RF Josh Hamilton

4. DH Vladimir Guerrero.

5. 2B Ian Kinsler

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6. LF Nelson Cruz

7. 1B Chris Davis

8. C Jarrod Saltalamacchia

9. SS Elvis Andrus

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