With the recent struggles of Jared Burton in the setup role for the Minnesota Twins, the team is going to eventually have to start looking internally and externally for pitchers who could step into that role until Burton figures it out and adjusts to his new role, whatever that may be. One possible candidate for the Twins to consider is someone whom they should be very well acquainted with: Matt Guerrier. Guerrier was recently designated for assignment by the Los Angeles Dodgers and now must wait 10 days to either be traded, released or accept an assignment at the minors.
Guerrier was a quality setup man for the Twins during his time with the club from 2004-2010. During that time, Guerrier compiled a career 19-25 record with a 3.38 ERA, 1.244 WHIP and a 7.5 WAR. Guerrier was a huge part in many of the Twins’ division titles during the mid-2000s and was a very durable setup man that the team could rely on in huge spots. For that reason, the Dodgers snatched him up quickly and signed him to a three-year deal after the 2010 season; however, Guerrier seems to have fallen out of favor with the Dodgers after getting off to a rough start this season.
On the year, Guerrier is 2-3 with a 4.80 ERA and a 1.467 WHIP in 34 appearances. Those aren’t horrible numbers for a reliever and you would think that with a pitcher of Guerrier’s track record, he would be given a longer chance to stick with the Dodgers despite his struggles; however, the Dodgers thought differently. The Twins shouldn’t remain complacent with the bullpen they have in place and should instead use this opportunity to add a valuable reliever who could help this team this season and beyond.
With the trade rumors surrounding Glen Perkins and the struggles to Burton, Guerrier would be a nice insurance policy in the Twins’ bullpen and it wouldn’t cost them much—if anything at all—to acquire him. Although Guerrier’s salary in 2013 is 4.75 million dollars, he is in the last year of his contract and will come off the books at the end of the year. At that point, if things go well for the Twins and Guerrier, the team could have the inside track at signing him to a more team-friendly deal. For that reason, I am fully recommending the Twins be proactive and go out and acquire Guerrier.