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27 days until pitchers and catchers report

27 days until pitchers and catchers report

Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

27 days until pitchers and catchers report for spring training for the Texas Rangers.

Its strange, but I forget sometimes that Vlad Guerrero was a Ranger.  The 2010-13 Rangers, I feel like everyone associated with those teams are burned into my brain...Cliff Lee, for example, no matter what happens, I will always think of in a Ranger uniform, even though he was only in Texas for a few months.

But Vlad?  For whatever reason, he's a, "Oh, yeah, he was a Ranger once" guy, kind of like Ken Caminiti or Brian Jordan.  I think of Vlad as an Expo first and foremost.  I don't really have a strong memory of him in Texas.  I mean, yes, he was here, and he had a solid season -- he finished 11th in the A.L. MVP balloting, in fact, the only Ranger to appear on any MVP ballot in 2010 other than Josh Hamilton -- but, for whatever reason, he didn't stick in my mind.

Vlad is going to be on the Hall of Fame ballot in two years, and his will be an interesting case.  I suspect that, during his career, he was viewed as a Hall of Famer, but a quick decline phase hurts his overall numbers...he's got roughly the same bWAR as contemporaries Bobby Abreu and Gary Sheffield, neither of whom are generally considered to be HOF-caliber players.  He'll be a first ballot guy at the same time Pudge Rodriguez and Manny Ramirez are on the ballot for the first time, though, and the perception that Vlad did it clean, in an era where there were a lot of suspected PED users, will probably help.