Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times spoke to Jose Guillen yesterday about his contract situation. The 31 year-old right fielder was hesitant to discuss it, but Baker managed to extract some info. Basically Guillen wants to stay with the Mariners past just 2008. He would like to finally stay in one place. Some kind of decision should come before month’s end.
Guillen signed with the Mariners back in December of ’06, receiving a $1MM signing bonus. His base salary for this year is $4MM, and he can make another $2.75MM in playing time incentives. The 2008 situation: basically a $9MM club option, which Guillen can void if exercised.
Guillen’s up to a .285/.358/.455 line, and his RBI total will probably approach 100. After a slow June he’s been raking in July as the team’s cleanup hitter. Keep in mind though that the bar is set pretty high for a right fielder – league average is .282/.356/.455.
Since Guillen can probably beat one year and $9MM on the open market this winter, the Mariners would have to give him a multiyear deal to keep him. Say three years, $36MM or so. At least that seems like market value to me. Obviously it would be better if the Ms didn’t have to extend him all the way through 2010.
As Baker notes in his post, that the Mariners are entertaining a Guillen extension is a sign that they might trade Adam Jones or Wladimir Balentien within the next two weeks (probably for pitching). Both youngsters appear Major League ready and could fetch something good. But Javier Vazquez probably wouldn’t approve a trade to Seattle, leaving the starting pitcher pickings slim.