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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Saturday, January 9, 2010

MLB: Vladimir Guerrero agrees to deal with Rangers


STEPHEN HAWKINS
AP Sports Writer

ARLINGTON, Texas Vladimir Guerrero is switching sides in the AL West.

Guerrero has agreed to a one-year deal with the Texas Rangers, opting to stay in the same division where he helped the Los Angeles Angels to five titles in the last six years.

A person familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press about the agreement on Saturday, speaking on condition of anonymity because the contract hasn't been finalized and is pending a physical.

Guerrero batted .295 with 15 homers and 50 RBIs in 100 games last season with the Angels, who lost to the New York Yankees in the AL championship series. The aging slugger is a .394 career hitter at Rangers Ballpark, with 14 homers and 33 RBIs in 50 games, and likely will serve as Texas' primary designated hitter.

The Angels showed little interest this offseason in retaining Guerrero, who had two stints on the disabled list in 2009 and turns 35 in February. Los Angeles signed free-agent slugger Hideki Matsui and kept Bobby Abreu with a $19 million, two-year contract, leaving no room for Guerrero in the lineup.

Texas finished second in the West last year, 10 games behind Los Angeles.

Guerrero, who spent six seasons with the Angels, is a career .321 hitter with 407 homers and 1,318 RBIs over 14 years in the majors.

In the first 44 games of his career against the Rangers (2004-06), Guerrero had one of baseball's most peculiar streaks. He had a 44-game hitting streak, the longest stretch by any player against one team since at least 1957.