Mariners Give Guillen One Last Go

Among Wednesday’s moves, the Seattle Mariners announced the signing of Carlos Guillen to a minor league contract. After a very successful career with the Tigers, Guillen returns to the team he broke into the majors with all the way back in 1998.

Unfortunately, it just doesn’t appear Guillen has anything left in the tank.

Although Guillen made an impact as an above-average shortstop for the Mariners between 2002 and 2004, his career didn’t take off until he joined the Tigers. He notched two 5+ WAR seasons in Detroit, including the 2006 AL Pennant campaign in which he recorded a fantastic .320/.400/.519 line in 145 games as the Tigers’ shortstop, rewarded with a 10th-place finish in the MVP voting for his efforts. Although the bat remained — Guillen posted wRC+ marks above 110 in 2007 and 2008 — the glove didn’t, as he was eventually pushed off shortstop, spending much of 2008 as a third baseman and eventually shifting to the outfield.

The bat has departed Guillen in the past two seasons as well, as the 36-year-old posted his first wRC+ marks below 100 since 2002 in three injury-riddled seasons from 2009-2011. With just a .253/.323/.411 line in 700 plate appearances — most of which came before the stark offensive drop of 2011 — Guillen doesn’t appear to have the hitting ability necessary to compensate for his defensive deficiencies.

Perhaps if Guillen had a healthy, rehabilitative offseason, the Mariners could find a player worthy of a bench spot in Guillen’s non-roster invitation to training camp, capable of backing up Kyle Seager at third base and Mike Carp in left field. But more likely, Guillen’s body will continue to betray him. Even if he does wind up on the Mariners’ 25-man roster come April, it will likely be in a diminished role, and one only available due to the lack of acceptable offensive options in Seattle.



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Oregon Nut Cups
Member
Oregon Nut Cups
4 years 7 months ago

I thought the Mariners already got a full time DH in Montero? That was a sarcastic jab, BTW. Still no sarcasm font.

Nate
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Nate
4 years 7 months ago

Hmm, if he has no glove, and he has no bat, why on earth would the Mariners need him? They’ve already got 6 or 7 of those.

Raymond
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Raymond
4 years 7 months ago

Teams sign guys like this in hopes that there’s still something left in the tank that hasn’t shone the last couple years. It costs nothing and doesn’t block more promising players.

Worst case scenario = he sucks real bad and gets released. Best case scenario = he rebounds to post a 110 wRC+ or something and fills in for the kids around the infield. Most likely scenario = he hangs out in Tacoma as insurance.

Ian
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Ian
4 years 7 months ago

As a fan of the Tigers, I have long appreciated Guillen, and his V-Mart-like approach at the plate – patient, surprising power, good contact skills, uses the whole field. Unfortunately, he has looked completely broken down for the past few years – moves like an old man…it’s been tough to watch, because he was such a fan favourite. I’d be ecstatic if he was able to piece together 300+ AB’s while filling in, but I don’t see it happening – maybe if it was a battle between Guillen and Figgins for playing time at 3rd – but in a straight re-build, with Liddi and Seager in the mix, and Smoak & Montero at 1B and DH, and even the interesting (to me) Wells in LF – I just would never want my team sacrificing their ABs for Guillen.

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