GOODYEAR, Ariz.: ESPN Deportes reported that Vladimir Guerrero worked out for the Indians at their facility in the Dominican Republic.
The network cited an anonymous source saying that the Tribe was interested, but the club’s director of Dominican operations, Ramon Pena, refused to confirm that he worked out, and Guerrero’s agent could not be reached for comment.
Guerrero, 37, was the Baltimore Orioles’ designated hitter last year and batted .290 with 13 home runs and 63 RBI in 562 at-bats. He has not played on the defensive side since 2010, when he appeared in 18 games for the Texas Rangers, 17 in right field.
He has been a free agent since being released at the end of last season, so the Indians have had plenty of opportunity to check out Guerrero. Why wait until now?
Certainly, General Manager Chris Antonetti would like to acquire a left fielder in trade or as a free agent, but it’s doubtful that Guerrero would be his man. On the other hand, it’s clear that manager Manny Acta has not been pleased with the group of outfielders trying to win the job.
Another complicating factor is that Guererro has not been working out at a spring training camp, and even if he is in shape, he would need 40-50 at-bats to get ready for the season, which begins April 5. That could postpone his debut until mid-April, and Grady Sizemore might return as early as late May.
Guerrero’s agent has said that his client would be willing to play in Japan if he can’t get a job in the big leagues.
Jack Hannahan missed several days with midback soreness but returned Monday to rip two doubles in his only two at-bats.
Carlos Santana was the Indians’ other big gun against the Milwaukee Brewers, hitting his third home run of the spring.
The Associated Press is reporting that Roberto Hernandez’s new contract has a base salary of $2.5 million with $2.7 million in performance bonuses. Before his contract was voided, he had been scheduled to make $7 million this season.
According to the new deal, Hernandez would receive $200,000 if he reaches each of the following plateaus: 20, 23 and 26 starts and for 150, 170 and 185 innings pitched. He also would receive $250,000 if he is on the roster for 95 days plus an additional $250,000 for every 15 days beyond that to 165.
His 2014 option was eliminated, allowing him to become a free agent after 2013. His 2013 club option was reduced from $9 million to $6 million, with any bonuses reached in 2012 added to the base. He could also make an additional $3 million next year based on how many innings he pitches.
The catch to all this is that Hernandez (the former Fausto Carmona) must persuade the U.S. government to issue him a work permit after it was revealed that his father had purchased a false identity for him as a teenager.
Making their pitches
Chris Perez threw one inning in a minor-league game, giving up one hit, walking none and striking out one. He threw 11 pitches. … Joe Smith pitched an inning in the same game, giving up one run, two hits and no walks and striking out one.
The Indians travel to Glendale this afternoon to play the Chicago White Sox. Ubaldo Jimenez will start against Zach Stewart. Rafael Perez, Jeremy Accardo, Robinson Tejeda and Rick VandenHurk will pitch out of the bullpen.
Vinnie Pestano will throw an inning in a minor-league game.
Sheldon Ocker can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Read the Indians blog at www.ohio.com/blogs/tribe-matters. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/SheldonOckerABJ and on Facebook at www.facebook.com/sports.abj.