Blue Jays release Vladimir Guerrero

The Toronto Blue Jays have parted ways with Vladimir Guerrero, granting the slugger's request to be released from his minor league contract Tuesday.

Guerrero asked to be released when the Blue Jays decided against promoting the former American League MVP to the majors, his agent told ESPNdeportesLosAngeles.com.

"Toronto informed us that it had no space in the majors for Guerrero, so now we move forward," said Jesus Alou, one of Guerrero's representatives.

Alou said Guerrero, who signed with Toronto on May 10, still intends to return to the majors with another team.

"Vladdy did all he could do to show that he is ready to play in the major leagues," Alou told ESPNdeportesLosAngeles.com. "We believe that another team will appreciate that."

Guerrero gave the Blue Jays an ultimatum earlier Tuesday, a soft deadline that had been extended one day because he missed a game after being hit by a pitch on his hand Saturday.

"We went into this with our eyes wide open, there were no guarantees he was going to come up here," Blue Jays general manager Alex Anthopoulos said.
"No promises in that respect. We were going to continue to evaluate him."

After going 4 for 5 with a triple and two RBIs for Triple-A Las Vegas on Monday, Guerrero gathered his belongings and went to his home in Anaheim, Calif.

"Guerrero is ready to play today in the big leagues," a source close to the nine-time All-Star said.

Guerrero, 37, batted .358 with four homers and 12 RBIs in 12 minor league games with the Blue Jays' organization. He agreed to a pro-rated deal last month with a base salary of $1.3 million.

Anthopoulos never saw Guerrero play in the Blue Jays system, but assistant GM Tony LaCava arrived in Las Vegas on Monday for a brief scouting trip. Anthopoulos said reports indicated Guerrero was "slowly starting to get better."

"More hard-hit balls but they didn't necessarily feel he was all the way there yet," he said.

The AL MVP in 2004, Guerrero has batted .318 with 449 homers and 1,496 RBIs during his 16-year career in the majors. He spent last season with the Baltimore Orioles, batting .290 with 13 homers and 63 RBIs.

information from The Associated Press was used in this report.