Guerrero will play some outfield for Texas Rangers

SURPRISE, Ariz. (AP) — Vladimir Guerrero will do more than be the designated hitter for the Texas Rangers this season.

Manager Ron Washington says he plans to use the slugger in right field from time to time because "that's what he wants to do. We want to keep him happy. If he's happy, I'm ecstatic."

The 35-year-old Guerrero comes to Texas after a six-year stint with the Los Angeles Angels, for whom he batted .319 and hit 173 home runs. Last season, he was limited to just 100 games due to pectoral and knee muscle injuries and posted a .295 batting average — his first sub-.300 season since debuting in a nine-game stint with Montreal in 1996. He hit 15 homers and drove in 50 runs for the Angels.

"He still has a presence," Washington said. "He still has bat speed and he still is a tremendous hitter that creates fear. When pitchers fear you, they make mistakes. He's a force to be reckoned with."

Guerrero signed a one-year, $5.5 million contract with a mutual option for 2011. In addition, he can earn up to another $900,000 in performance incentives. The decision came quickly after the slugger met with Washington and Rangers general manager Jon Daniels at home in California.

"I talked to Ron Washington for about three or four hours in my home," Guerrero said Wednesday after the team's first full-squad workout. "The way we talked and the way we treated me, that convinced me to sign with the Rangers."

Guerrero said his intent is to play the field, assuming that's what Texas wants from him, even though he made only two appearances in the outfield for the Angels last season.

"I didn't come here to play only DH," Guerrero said. "I came here to play. It's up to them where they play me. If they want me to DH, I'll DH. If they want me to be an outfielder, I'll be an outfielder."

A season filled with injuries hasn't changed the veteran's approach.

"There's no way I would change," Guerrero said. "If you try to change that's when you can get hurt."

NOTES: CF Josh Hamilton left morning workouts with a left shoulder contusion and is day-to-day. ... An MRI on Omar Poveda's right elbow revealed a sprained ulnar collateral ligament, which could result in Tommy John surgery pending a second opinion from surgeon Dr. Lewis Yocum. The 22-year-old was 11-5 with a 4.14 ERA in 22 starts at Double-A Frisco last year before moving up and pitching seven innings for Triple-A Oklahoma City. ... LHP Derek Holland, who sprained his right knee on Saturday, played long toss Wednesday morning. ... IF Marcus Lemon, son of former Detroit Tigers center fielder Chet Lemon, has been added to the major-league camp to give the Rangers another middle infielder in the wake of Khalil Greene's decision Sunday not to report. ... Washington said he discussed expectations for the club during his annual first day speech, emphasizing "they can never be as powerful as what we expect from ourselves."