Guerrero pursuit raising questions

The players association is investigating the source of the medical records the Mets had on Vladimir Guerrero.

Updated: January 16, 2004, 10:50 AM ET
By Jim Baker | MLB Insider
Not only did they not get their man, the Mets may be in trouble over how they handled the pursuit of Vladimir Guerrero. According to a report in the New York Times, the players association is seeking an investigation into the amount and source of medical records the Mets had on Guerrero. It is illegal to get records on a job seeker without their permission. As Rafael Hermoso points out, Guerrero did not suffer as a result in that he still got a sizeable contract from the Angels. The association's concern is that the Mets used these ill-gotten documents to depress Guerrero's worth in the marketplace.

My comments on the Mets failure to give Guerrero a competitive offer brought this letter:

    Jim: It's obvious that you think the Mets low-balled Vlad by only judging them on the guaranteed portion of the contract offer they made rather than the contract on the whole, including the $40 million in very reachable incentives. That's fine, but it begs this question in my mind: if it were your money to spend on a player with a pre-existing back issue (thereby rendering the contract uninsurable, at least in regards to the next back injury, should it arise), wouldn't you also like the player to assume some risk? And by risk, I mean that shouldn't the buying club expect that any player (and especially one making 8 figures) show up for work on a semi-regular basis or the player face some sort of repercussions, even if it's to the tune of "only" making $10mm/year for three years? This isn't charity. Personally, I hope that contracts like these become the norm, rather than the derided exception ...especially considering my ticket prices will still be paying for Mo Vaughn!
Jim Baker is an author at Baseball Prospectus and a frequent contributor to Page 2. You can e-mail Jim at