M’s close to signing Jose Guillen

Dave · December 2, 2006 at 12:26 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Looks like the Mariners have gotten the memo – one year gambles are a good way to go in a market when everyone else is committing away a roster spot for half a decade or more.

Both the Nationals writer for MLB.com and Corey Brock are reporting that the Mariners are nearing a one year deal for Jose Guillen, who would replace Eduardo Perez on the roster. In anticipation of this signing, the Nationals offered Jose Guillen, a type B free agent, arbitration last night. This means the Nats will receive a compensatory first round pick (but not from the Mariners) if Guillen signs elsewhere. They clearly believe he will sign elsewhere, as they have no interest in bringing him back for 2007.

So, what does Guillen bring to the M’s? An interesting package. He’s one of the most tools-laden outfielders in the game when healthy, mixing power, speed, and a rocket arm. However, he’s got a lot of flaws; his plate discipline is horrible, he’s feuded with almost every manager he’s had, and he’s coming off Tommy John surgery that ended a 2006 season that was shaping up to be a massive disappointment anyways.

Guillen claims he’ll be ready for spring training, and if that’s true, he’s a good bet to post a .270/.330/.460 line (adjusted for Safeco) while playing solid defense in a corner outfield role. That’s easily worth the $3 to $4 million they’re expected to pay him, and having a RH outfielder on the roster is a necessity.

Questions abound, however.

Is he healthy enough to throw? If he’s not, then he’s a platoon DH, and not a great one at that.

Will Hargrove acknowledge that Snelling needs to play and use this to shift Ibanez to DH, or more likely, does this make Snelling a fourth outfielder?

Does this end their pursuit of a veteran left-handed outfielder? Let’s all hope so.

Would Guillen’s addition give them the courage to move Richie Sexson? Unlikely, and with the Giants signing 142 players in the past two days, they’re running out of suitors.

Overall, I like the deal. It’s another short contract that has the ability to become a bargain, and the M’s did need a RH outfielder on the roster. However, it comes with a metric ton of baggage, and there’s a decent chance that the M’s could get a similar performance from Adam Jones for the league minimum. However, depth is valuable, and so is allowing Jones to start 2007 in Tacoma.

It’s a medium risk, medium reward move, but I certainly prefer Jose Guillen for one year over any of the potential left-handed outfielders that have been discussed.


78 Responses to “M’s close to signing Jose Guillen”

  1. Mr. Egaas on December 2nd, 2006 6:30 pm

    Brown and Guillen are similar players, and we didn’t have to sacrifice any talent to get Guillen.

    Fun things up on the Wikipedia article on Jose Guillen. Expect some good things against that team from LA, or Anaheim, or, whatever.

  2. Colorado M's Fan on December 2nd, 2006 6:37 pm

    Not to say we didn’t need a right handed outfielder, but it should be mentioned that Ichiro Suzuki is right handed. He only bats lefty.

  3. Bodhizefa on December 2nd, 2006 6:53 pm

    Fantastic news. My only fear is that this initial bliss over Bavasi doing a few things absolutely right will be marred by the eventual signing of Jason Schmidt to an obscenely long and expensive contract. But I’ll take my bliss while I can get it.

    These one-year deals rock.

  4. F-Rod on December 2nd, 2006 6:58 pm

    You gotta like this move…. Given our status as a real questionable contender I like these type of short moves. If we struggle he can be traded at the deadline, or hopefully he and we will be good and then if he does not resign, you can get a draft pick next year. With the skyrocketing free agency situation acquiring lots of draft picks is vital for our organization……Time for a 3 yr Schmidt deal.

  5. Bodhizefa on December 2nd, 2006 7:06 pm

    Time for a 3 yr Schmidt deal.

    If there’s anyway at all that we could pull that off, I’d totally be for it. I just don’t see him taking less than four years, which is pretty much a death knell for me in terms of length given that he’s already 34. I’d pay him more per year if we could get it down to three years, but any longer than that and I say no way. Spend more money in the draft and in Venezuela and the Dominican instead and be done with it.

  6. byronebyronian on December 2nd, 2006 7:50 pm

    Chalk me up for hating this deal too.

    The guy is a jerk, I doubt he’ll hit all that well in Safeco AND he will take playing time away from Doyle (the main reason I think this sucks).

    This guy is not going to be as useful as some think. 1 yr deal or not, it’s a waste of 3-4 mill when we STILL need some pitching.

  7. byronebyronian on December 2nd, 2006 7:51 pm

    #54 – if we suck at the trade deadline, if Guillen gets out of line (as usual) NOBODY will want him. I believe the Nats tried trading him and nothing happened.

  8. byronebyronian on December 2nd, 2006 7:57 pm

    Oh yes, he’s also the same guy that Frank Robinson told to pipe down when he got a bug up his butt regarding opposing pitchers “trying” to throw at him.

    He then goes to the media and whines his team’s pitchers should be retaliating.

    Sorry guys, this guy will be awful. But I guess I am alone here on this.

  9. David J. Corcoran I on December 2nd, 2006 8:01 pm

    Jose Guillen si the shit. He’s going to be the 2007 MVP, like it or not.

  10. Mr. Egaas on December 2nd, 2006 8:02 pm

    if we suck at the trade deadline, if Guillen gets out of line (as usual) NOBODY will want him. I believe the Nats tried trading him and nothing happened.

    Well, he had Tommy John Surgery on July 25th, so that may have something to do with it. Questions about the elbow in the weeks before that, it’s hard to trade an injured commodity.

    July 18: Yankees show interest
    July 19: Guillen leaves game with sore elbow
    July 20: MRI, 15-day DL
    July 24: Torn UCL discovered
    July 25: Surgery

  11. byronebyronian on December 2nd, 2006 8:06 pm

    #59: Okay if you say so. I have my doubts, but I’ll give him a chance. I don’t have to like it to accept it.

    #60: Good point.

    Question though, if he could only hit .220 playing most of his games in RFK, what makes everybody think he’ll hit well at Safeco?

  12. Grant on December 2nd, 2006 8:09 pm

    #41. Heh-heh, the Giants are old.

    Also as far as getting BIP type info I think there may be some @ The Hardball Times, but besides that it seems to be pretty scarce. However you can buy it from Baseball Info Solutions, I actually worked for them collecting that kind of data a couple summers ago at Portland Beavers games.

  13. David J. Corcoran I on December 2nd, 2006 8:10 pm

    61: He was injured in 06. Check out 05. He was the 1337 ub3r ballplayer in 05.

  14. Mr. Egaas on December 2nd, 2006 8:11 pm

    Question though, if he could only hit .220 playing most of his games in RFK, what makes everybody think he’ll hit well at Safeco?

    Sample sizes of 248 and 109 ABs for those 2 years can’t tell you a whole lot.

  15. Spanky on December 2nd, 2006 8:13 pm

    Why should we even believe Jose will get significant playing time. I mean…how should we even believe that Grover will actually put Jose in the game. Last year, I really liked the Lawton pick-up (funny…last year we were picking up spare parts for duffle bag of balls…this year, the price for spare parts is $5,000,000), but Lawton never had a chance to play. Are we paying this guy a bunch of money so Grover can have a counter balance to his wide bottom on the other side of the bench?

  16. Gomez on December 2nd, 2006 8:15 pm

    Sample sizes of 248 and 109 ABs for those 2 years can’t tell you a whole lot.

    With a bad elbow and a torn labrum, no less.

  17. Mr. Egaas on December 2nd, 2006 8:16 pm

    Why should we even believe Jose will get significant playing time.

    Same reason Carl Everett got so many ABs. $4 million guaranteed.

  18. terry on December 2nd, 2006 8:22 pm

    I have a hypothetical….what would be stupider… 🙂

    Bowden for trading Nick Johnson for E. Santana or

    Stoneman for trading Santana for Sexson?

  19. David J. Corcoran I on December 2nd, 2006 8:28 pm


    I’d actually consider the Johnson for Santana. But the Stoneman is an obvious NO.

  20. terry on December 2nd, 2006 8:40 pm

    #65: if he’s healthy coming out of spring training, you’ve got to assume he’ll get the chance to play his way out of town….

  21. argh on December 2nd, 2006 9:01 pm

    What were his problems in 1999-2002 when he only had one season where he appeared in more than 100 games (and only 41 in ’01)? Is he Doyle with a temper?

  22. msb on December 2nd, 2006 9:51 pm

    The Times has a Geoff Baker story up, with quotes. Well, if he works out as well as the last player to ‘fall into their lap’ (Joh), all is well.

    #71– I know in 2001 he began the year with shoulder tendinitis, and then got back, and sprained a knee running out a ground ball…

    here’s another old piece on him…

  23. Spanky on December 2nd, 2006 11:50 pm

    Times article quote: “I know that when I’m healthy, I can still hit in this league.”

    Yeah but…can he still play the field? I don’t think anyone questions if he can still hit!

    “Guillen said the idea is for him to become the team’s full-time right fielder, with Ichiro shifting over to center. It’s to play in right field,” he said. “All of the discussions we had were about me being in right field.”

    So will he just be handed the job then? Outfield is Guillen, Ichiro, and Ibañez?

  24. stoyboy on December 3rd, 2006 7:02 am

    Good signing if Guillen can play 130 games in the OF and a few at DH(against Lefties) I am pleased with this signing good job FO!

  25. patnmic on December 3rd, 2006 7:27 am

    I like this signing especially if their is a team option for 08. First Guillen at 30 and coming off a major injury has probably matured a bit. Also at 30 he is still young enough to rebound from his injuries. If he plays well we can keep him if not he can go the way of Jurassic Carl without a large penalty for next year. Finally, he’ll be playing like its a contract year and if the team picks up his option for one year he’ll be playing a second year like its a contract year. Low risk high reward. Good job FO!

  26. Oly Rainiers Fan on December 3rd, 2006 8:37 am

    So the Geoff Baker article, and the one in the P-I today as well do make me hate this deal. 5.5 million for 1 year, with up to 3 mill in incentives? Yikes, that’s a bunch of money even if it is only for 1 year.

    Baker’s article does have him playing RF fulltime, leaving Doyle to rot on the bench for another year, and hey, you know we’re talking about Hargrove managing this team, not somebody who would set those lineups the way we’d like them to be.

    And, not that there’s any comparison between the two, but…last year around this exact same time, wasn’t this team signing a proven veteran that had also played on 8 teams in the past 9 years, who was known to have a fiery clubhouse presence (and yes, posters at that time defended that deal saying maybe the Ms NEED that fiery presence as well) and thought he was still able to hit in this league? How long did it take Hargrove to figure out not to use him again?

  27. schmicky on December 3rd, 2006 8:46 am

    5 million with three million in incenntives this year, and an option in 08 of 9 million dallars. Time will tell how well the m’s did in this signing. I do feel for Doyle though. I hope he is healthy enough that the m’s have to say we need to play him! I also hope that Jose does so well that he is recieving this inccentives. If this pans out then more than like;ly Raul will be the dh and Dolye out in left?

  28. colm on December 3rd, 2006 10:31 am

    about the best thing to hope for this offseason seems to be “At least that’s not a frightening waste of money” moves such as this.

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