Carlos Guillen Rumors

Tigers Notes: Needs, Cabrera, Jackson, Granderson

Steve Kornacki takes a late-night look at what Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski needs heading into the Winter Meetings. Not surprisingly, help at the back of the bullpen, a spark plug at the top of the lineup, and a shortstop top Kornacki's list. Here's the highlights of the piece:

  • With Brandon Lyon and Fernando Rodney expected to receive multi-year offers, Detroit will need to address its bullpen. Kornacki doesn't like the Tigers chances to sign the two. Lyon's agent has "guaranteed" his client will receive multiple years.
  • The Tigers could re-sign glove man Adam Everett if a shortstop can't be had via trade. Everett had yet another strong season at shortstop, posting a 13.6 UZR/150. They've also been linked to Bobby Crosby, but I don't think any team would feel comfortable entering the season with Crosby as their primary shortstop option.
  • Kornacki would be surprised to see Miguel Cabrera dealt anywhere. "Nothing even remotely possible has been reported," writes Kornacki.
  • If Edwin Jackson or Curtis Granderson is dealt, it will be in to make the team better and not to slash payroll. With Seattle's recent agreement with Chone Figgins pending, if the Angels want to acquire Granderson to fill the leadoff spot, the price may have just gone up.
  • Kornacki says the biggest offensive need is a leadoff man, and suggests scenarios for both Juan Pierre and Carl Crawford.
  • Kornacki suggests packaging Jackson and Carlos Guillen to bring Pierre and George Sherrill to Detroit.
  • He suggests a one-for-one swap of Granderson for Crawford, provided Dombrowski can extend Crawford. The thinking there is that Granderson will be more affordable for the Rays down the line.

Kornacki finishes up by reminding how active Dombrowski was at last year's meetings. If you'll remember, he acquired Gerald Laird on day one, signed Adam Everett two days later, and on the final day sent Matt Joyce to Tampa Bay in exchange for Jackson. He also spent a great deal of time attempting to acquire J.J. Putz.

Kornacki opines that the biggest move will come somewhere we're not looking, which always makes for fun discussion. Any thoughts on what Dombrowski may have up his sleeve? If you're still up with me, let's hear it in the comments.


Tigers Rumors: Magglio, Boras, Guillen

A closer look at the drama between the Tigers, Magglio Ordonez and Scott Boras, along with a couple other Tigers notes:

  • Boras told MLB.com's Jason Beck that he wasn't delivering a message to Jim Leyland when he spoke out against the Tigers' decision to bench his client. Boras says he'd phone Leyland if he wanted to talk to him.
  • Drew Sharp of the Detroit Free Press says Boras did phone Leyland- the problem is, the call came in the middle of yesterday's Tigers game.
  • Leyland believes Boras overreacted to the team's decision.
  • Ordonez could return to the Tigers' lineup against the Cubs tomorrow, according to Jason Beck.
  • And Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports hears that Carlos Guillen is feeling better and could be ready for action by early July.
  • The Tigers are looking to trade for a power bat regardless.

Tigers Bench Magglio Ordonez Indefinitely

News comes from Tom Gage of the Detroit News that the Tigers are benching Magglio Ordonez indefinitely.

Ordonez hasn't been terrible with the average or plate discipline, but his power has disappeared. His season line is .273/.347/.343 entering Thursday's game, and with two home runs all year, he simply hasn't been a middle-of-the-order hitter.

Between Ordonez's benching and the news that Carlos Guillen may not return this season, the Tigers are facing a power deficit. While they are in first place now, it is hard to imagine they will stay there all season without adding some offense.

Keep in mind, Ordonez receives $18MM in 2010 if he gets 135 starts or 540 plate appearances in 2009, or 270 starts or 1,080 plate appearances in 2008-2009 combined. Considering he had 144 starts and 623 plate appearances in 2008, that means his benchmarks are actually 126 starts or 457 plate appearances in 2009.

Consider that Ordonez is already at 57 starts, 242 plate appearances in 2009, and figure "indefinitely" will mean "most of the time" for the remainder of the season.



Odds And Ends: Strasburg, Guillen, Smoltz

Links for Wednesday afternoon…

  • Maury Brown of the Biz of Baseball points out that a $5MM annual salary would place Stephen Strasburg within the top third of arbitration-eligible pitchers from last offseason.
  • John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press reports that Carlos Guillen will have to undergo season-ending surgery if his shoulder doesn't heal soon.
  • Alex Speier of WEEI.com looks at the impact John Smoltz's return will have on each of the five other Boston starters.
  • In an article for SI.com Joel Sherman argues the Indians shouldn't trade Cliff Lee this year. They can contend with Lee in 2010, if not this year, so Sherman says it makes sense to try to win with him.
  • Jorge Says No! outlines possible fire sales for the Nationals and Orioles.
  • Yankees first rounder Slade Heathcott and his agent were in New York last night, but the Yankees aren't expected to sign their selection quickly, according to Peter Abraham.

Odds And Ends: Harper, Pirates, Hanley

Some links for Tuesday morning…


Stark’s Latest: Halladay, Vlad, Magglio

Jayson Stark's most recent column over at ESPN.com is absolutely chock-full of rumors and information…

  • Marlins president David Samson doesn't anticipate the Marlins ever implementing a fire sale again.  "We've put ourselves in a position, with salaries and the performance we're getting from players at a young age, that we don't have to do that anymore," said Samson.  The new stadium should help with attendance, which should in turn help with payroll.
  • Blue Jays GM J.P. Ricciardi doesn't see his club trading Roy Halladay this season.  "I still don't see us doing it," said Ricciardi.  "I know ownership doesn't want to do it.  And I don't think, in my gut, that Doc really wants to be anywhere else."
  • Some MLB officials believe Vladimir Guerrero's recent pectoral injury could severely affect his free agent value this offseason.  "He could be a $1 million player in a year, with $4 million in incentives," said an unnamed official of one team.  "He's a tough guy to commit to."
  • Pedro Martinez continues to demand a $5 million paycheck.  It's doubtful any team, no matter how desperate, would commit to that price.
  • Some folks in the baseball world think Magglio Ordonez might be made available near the trade deadline.  Magglio has vesting options for 2010 and 2011, however, which could complicate a potential deal.
  • Teams are also tracking a few other Tigers players, including Carlos Guillen and Placido Polanco.

Carlos Guillen to Play 1B Next Season

The Tigers anticipated thisCarlos Guillen‘s okay with it.  Despite signing Guillen in March to a 4 year deal for $48MM to begin next season, the shortstop is going to be moving across the diamond sooner than expected to play first base.  The move is designed to protect his knees from the physical stresses of SS.

Tim argued that 4/48 was a bargain as long as he remained the Tigers’ shortstop.  Unfortunately, it appears Manager Jim Leyland has had to talk him into moving to first, despite Guillen’s condition last week that the Tigers had to bring in a gold glove caliber replacement.  However, Guillen now believes it’ll be better for the team and the longevity of his career.

Who then will be playing short for the Tigers in 2008?  Omar Vizquel, David Eckstein, and Cesar Izturis are free agents that stick out.  The Detroit Free Press notes there "could be other shortstops available in trade."  Edgar Renteria seems to be a popular choice among MLBTR readers.  Or will the Tigers make another attempt at Jack Wilson from Pittsburgh?  Or would they stick with the in-house option of Ramon Santiago?  The apparent good news is there are many options.

This also confirms the obvious:  the Tigers have no plans to bring Sean Casey back.

Posted by: Nat Boyle


Tigers Sign Carlos Guillen

The Tigers signed shortstop Carlos Guillen for four years and $48MM, starting in 2008.  An excellent bargain, and $8MM less than MLBTR readers guessed.

This despite the huge discount he’s giving them in 2007 ($5MM salary).  Guillen must really love Detroit.  Hopefully the Tigers keep him at short most of the time for the length of the deal, but at $12MM annually it’s not the end of the world if they don’t. 



Carlos Guillen Doesn’t Change Tune

Back in February, I praised Carlos Guillen as the rare marquee free agent who refused to impose a deadline for his next contract.  However, Guillen has since changed that stance.

The Tiger shortstop said yesterday that he would not negotiate a contract after the season starts.  He does wish to stay in Detroit, and talks are ongoing.

The general feeling of MLBTR readers when last surveyed was that Guillen will land a four-year, $56MM contract.  If he remains mostly at shortstop, that’s a bargain.

UPDATE: We’re back where we started – The Detroit News reports that Guillen will negotiate into the season as long as it’s not a distraction.  Tom Gage learned that there has not been a recent offer from the Tigers.



Comparing Carlos Guillen and Michael Young

Michael Young‘s recent contract extension, which 56.6% of you liked, could inform negotiations for Carlos Guillen‘s next deal.  Guillen is among the ten best free agents available after the 2007 season.

Let’s compare the two shortstops.  They have nearly identical body types, though Guillen is a year older.  Guillen’s got a touch more power; both consistently hit for a high average.  Guillen draws more walks, so he’s in better shape if the batting average starts to decline.  Both have questions about their ability to stay at shortstop in the long term.  Both are significantly underpaid this year.

The largest difference is that Young is far more durable.  That’s a huge factor.  If you factor in the health and age difference, it’s obvious Guillen should not get a five-year, $80MM deal.  The Tigers seem willing to offer a four-year extension, taking him through 2011.  Rather than Young’s $16MM AAV, Guillen should be in line for something more like $14-15MM.  He wants to stay in Detroit, so something like 4/52 might make sense.  PECOTA would support Detroit making such an offer.

What say you?  Guess the length and AAV of Guillen’s contract in today’s MLBTR poll and compare to other readers.