Blue Jays sign Guerrero

Nine-time All-Star and 2004 American League MVP Award winner Vladimir Guerrero has signed a Minor League deal with the Toronto Blue Jays.

The deal is worth $1.3 million and will be prorated for Guerrero’s time in the Majors, FOX Sports’ Ken Rosenthal first reported Thursday, adding that Guerrero will enter Toronto’s extended spring camp in Dunedin, Fla.

Guerrero, 37, will be returning to Canada, where he began his career while playing eight seasons for the Montreal Expos. He then headed to Anaheim, where he won his MVP Award during six years with the Angels.

Known for his powerful swing, Guerrero is a lifetime .318 hitter with 449 home runs.

Guerrero spent last season with Baltimore, hitting .290 with 13 homers and 63 RBIs, exclusively as a designated hitter.

If Guerrero proves he is ready for a return to the Major Leagues, he could provide the club with another option for the heart of its lineup. 

Former cleanup hitter Adam Lind was dropped to eighth in the batting order on Wednesday following his continued struggles at the plate. Lind entered play on Thursday hitting just .198 with three home runs and 10 RBIs, and he is coming off a 2011 season in which he was plagued by back injuries.

Starting designated hitter Edwin Encarnacion has been the Blue Jays’ best hitter this season, but he also has the ability to play first base. That could create an opening for Guerrero, who would appear likely to start against left-handed pitching while also putting pressure on Lind for regular playing time.

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