M’s close to signing Jose Guillen
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.