Carlos Guillen Rumors
On this date in 1955, the New York Giants signed 17-year-old prospect Willie McCovey as an amateur free agent. Four years later he was named the NL Rookie of the Year when he hit 13 home runs in 52 games. McCovey, now 74, went on to hit 521 home runs in his Hall of Fame career. Here are today's links...
- Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports looks back at the day in June, 1995 when the Yankees optioned Mariano Rivera and Derek Jeter to the minors together. Rivera hasn't said whether this will be his last season as a Major Leaguer, but he told Morosi that winning another championship would be the perfect way to end his career.
- Even Rivera's teammates marvel at the closer's ability and accomplishments, Joel Sherman of the New York Post writes.
- The Cardinals will stretch Lance Lynn out in case Chris Carpenter isn’t ready for Opening Day, Jenifer Langosch of MLB.com reports. Roy Oswalt remains available for a mid-season deal in case a long-term opening emerges in the Cardinals’ rotation.
- Carlos Guillen told George Sipple of the Detroit Free Press that he retired because his body wasn't keeping up with the daily grind of Spring Training. The 36-year-old retired last week.
- David O'Brien of the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reports that shortstop prospect Andrelton Simmons is opening some eyes in Braves camp. The 22-year-old hasn't yet reached Double-A, but some are wondering if he could win the Opening Day shortstop job from Tyler Pastornicky.
- Braves executives view Simmons as the long-term answer at short, Jim Bowden of ESPN.com and MLB Network Radio tweets.
Guillen, 36, has spent an increasing amount of time on the disabled list in the last four seasons. In a 14-year career for the Mariners and Tigers, he hit .285/.355/.443 with 124 home runs in 1,305 games. He was a three-time All-Star with the Tigers, garnering MVP votes in '04 and '06. The Venezuelan spent the bulk of his career at shortstop, but also logged innings at the other infield positions and left field. Baseball-Reference indicates he earned about $69MM in his career, which included a four-year, $48MM contract with Detroit. Guillen came up through the Astros' farm system, but was traded with Freddy Garcia and (eventually) John Halama to the Mariners for Randy Johnson at the July 1998 deadline.
Photo courtesy of Icon SMI.
Spring Training complexes in Florida and Arizona are starting to come alive with baseball activity, but there are meaningful games already being played all across the country. Stanford right-hander Mark Appel - the current favorite to go first overall in this year's draft - allowed just two hits and one run in seven innings against Vanderbilt yesterday, kicking off the NCAA baseball season. Here's the latest from around the big leagues...
- “We’d all like something resolved by the end of spring training,” said Matt Cain to Andrew Baggarly of CSNBayArea.com when asked about a contract extension. “I don’t think either side wants that to linger into the season.” Cain has already indicated that he will not give the Giants a hometown discount after already signing one team friendly contract.
- Jon Garland will take his physical on Monday, reports Paul Hoynes of The Cleveland-Plain Dealer (on Twitter). Garland agreed to a minor league deal with the Indians earlier this week, but the physical is far from routine after shoulder surgery.
- Carlos Guillen told MLB.com's Greg Johns that he had other opportunities, but chose to return to the Mariners on a minor league contract. "I decided to come here because this is my first house," he said. "I know the city, and I'm happy to be back."
- Jesus Flores told Amanda Comak of The Washington Times that he hadn't planned on being a backup catcher at this point of his career, but asking the Nationals for a trade is "not on [his] mind." The 27-year-old Flores will backup Wilson Ramos this season.
- Left-hander Wei-Yin Chen hasn't even thrown a pitch since signing a three-year, sub-$12MM deal with Orioles earlier this offseason, but he's already told Eduardo A. Encina of The Baltimore Sun that he hopes to stay in MLB for the next ten years (Twitter link).
- Rod Barajas told MLB.com's Tom Singer that he's excited to be reunited with A.J. Burnett. Barajas and Burnett played together with the Blue Jays before both landing with the Pirates this offseason.
8:45pm: The Mariners will pay Guillen $1MM plus incentives based on plate appearances if he makes the team, Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times tweets.
1:47pm: The Mariners announced they've signed infielder Carlos Guillen to a minor league contract with a spring training invite. Guillen made his big league debut with the Mariners in 1998, becoming a regular at shortstop and third base for four years before being traded to the Tigers eight years ago.
Guillen, 36, was limited to 699 plate appearances for the Tigers over the last three seasons. The Octagon client had knee surgery in September of 2010, delaying his 2011 debut. Wrist and calf injuries affected the tail end of his campaign.
While we wait for the big free agents to make their decisions, here's a grab bag of links from Day Three at the Winter Meetings:
- The Athletics feel like they're much closer to moving Andrew Bailey than Gio Gonzalez, but even that may not happen until after the Meetings, tweets Joel Sherman of the New York Post.
- GM Walt Jocketty finds the lack of action in Dallas for the Reds so far "very frustrating," says MLB.com's Mark Sheldon. Jocketty said he was approached with one proposal today that' he's considering, but "nothing is close."
- Candidates for the Royals' utility infielder opening include Edgar Renteria, Mark DeRosa, Orlando Cabrera, and Carlos Guillen, tweets Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star. No deals are imminent.
- The Rays are still attempting to figure out the best way to bolster their offense, writes Bill Chastain at MLB.com.
- The Mariners are displaying interest in Arthur Rhodes, tweets Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports.
- Jorge Posada would still like to play if he can find the right situation, tweets Jon Heyman of MLB Network.
- Former Angels GM Bill Stoneman will return to the team for another year as special advisor to the GM, tweets Mike DiGiovanna of the Los Angeles Times.
As you probably know by know, MLBTR will have 24-hour coverage of the Winter Meetings. I'll be at the wheel until 8am, so feel free to stay up late with me. Here's tonight's batch of overnight quick hits:
- Not surprisingly, Athletics GM Billy Beane told MLB.com's Jane Lee and other reporters that a long-term deal for Gio Gonzalez isn't happening anytime soon. Beane said they had talks last year. Gonzalez has become one of the hottest trade chips on the market at the Winter Meetings.
- Octavio Dotel could be a target for the Rangers, speculates T.R. Sullivan of MLB.com. Rangers brass met with Beverly Hills Sports Council (Dotel's agency) reps today, and some Texas officials have a high opinion of Dotel.
- John Harper of the New York Daily News is of the opinion that as tough as it sounds, the Yankees should be willing to trade Jesus Montero in a Gio Gonzalez deal.
- The Astros may name a new GM this week, writes Danny Knobler of CBS Sports, and Rockies executive Bill Geivett may be the favorite.
- Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times tweets that Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik met with Carlos Guillen's agent on Tuesday. We heard Monday they were one of five teams in on the former Tiger.
- Angels skipper Mike Scioscia told reporters, including Mike DiGiovanna of the L.A. Times, that he prefers to add a starting pitcher rather than a bat: "...you need a full rotation to give yourself that opportunity to get into the playoffs." DiGiovanna's piece has a video link of Scioscia discussing C.J. Wilson, whom the Angels are targeting. The Angels though, reportedly won't offer six years.
- Joel Sherman of the New York Post hears Mets GM Sandy Alderson would like to bring back Chris Young a minor league deal in 2012 (Twitter link). Young was limited to 24 innings with the Mets due to shoulder troubles in 2011, and has totaled just 120 innings since the end of 2008.
- The Royals seek a right-handed alternative to play third base and give Mike Moustakas an occasional break, GM Dayton Moore told Bob Dutton of the Kansas City Star. Casey Blake and Kevin Kouzmanoff are a couple of free agents who could fit the bill, in my opinion.
- The Royals have a full 40-man roster, so they'd have to free up a spot to make a Rule 5 pick on Thursday.
- The Royals tried for Derek Lowe before the Braves traded him to the Indians.
- Manager Ned Yost told Dutton the Royals would like to add a situational lefty to serve as an alternative to Tim Collins. Check out the free agent lefty relievers here.
- Moore seemed to acknowledge interest in Guillen, but noted, "I think there are going to be quite a few players like that around in January if we want to supplement our team."
- Dutton confirmed the Royals' interest in Gonzalez with a source, though they currently don't like the Athletics' asking price of multiple impact prospects.
- Regarding unfounded lobby rumors yesterday, Moore commented to reporters including MLB.com's Dick Kaegel, "I'd like to keep Wil Myers' name out of the paper as much as possible. Wil Myers is a young, talented player. He had a tremendous Arizona Fall League. We live with him every day. We love him and he's a big part of our future. But he's a Double-A player. He's going to produce at his own natural rate. We're not going to put unrealistic expectations on him. What other cliche do you want?"
The Royals, Marlins, Twins, Athletics, and Mariners are interested in Carlos Guillen, agent Wilfredo Polidor told Enrique Rojas of ESPNDeportesLosAngeles (link in Spanish). Guillen, 36, has missed increasing amounts in each of the last three seasons due to injuries. However, Polidor says his client is working like an animal in Miami and can help at almost any position.
Guillen began his big league career with the Mariners and was traded to the Tigers in January of '04. The M's will meet with Polidor at the Winter Meetings to discuss the possiblity of bringing his client back to Seattle, according to Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times (on Twitter).
The Marlins have shown interest in free agent Carlos Guillen, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports. The versatile Guillen could pinch hit and provide the Marlins with an extra option at first, second, third and left field if he has recovered from the assortment of injuries that sidelined him in 2011.
The 36-year-old missed much of the 2011 season with knee, wrist and calf injuries. However, he hit a combined .257/.333/.419 with 17 homers in 597 plate appearances from 2009-10. As Morosi points out, Marlins manager Ozzie Guillen knows Guillen, a fellow Venezuelan, from their time in the AL Central.
Tigers GM Dave Dombrowski spoke to reporters today; here's the latest from John Lowe of the Detroit Free Press on Twitter.
- It's very unlikely free agents Magglio Ordonez and Carlos Guillen will be back next year. Reliever Joel Zumaya would be on a minor league deal if he returns.
- Victor Martinez will be the Tigers' full-time designated hitter next year, so Dombrowski will seek a back-up catcher for Alex Avila.
- Dombrowski sees the arbitration eligible Delmon Young as his left fielder in 2012 on a one-year deal. Matt Swartz projects Young to earn $6.3MM next year through the arbitration process.
- "In so many words, Dombrowski ruled out any run at [Jose] Reyes," tweets Lowe.
- Most likely, Jacob Turner and other youngsters will compete for the Tigers' fifth starter job next spring, with a veteran on board for projection, tweets MLB.com's Jason Beck.