UPDATE, 11-3-07: There had been conflicting reports of this, but Cot’s Baseball Contracts had it right. Guillen’s player option is for $5MM, and he’s already said he’s declining it. The Mariners pretty much wasted $500K in declining the club option.
The Mariners are saying they put the ball in Jose Guillen’s court, but they really didn’t. They declined his one-year, $9MM option. Now Guillen can choose to exercise an option for 2008 for $5MM or elect for free agency. Seems pretty clear he’ll pass on that.
It figured to be this way from the start; the $9MM team option really meant nothing because if they exercised it that would mean Guillen was worth more than that on the open market. The $5MM player option only had value if Guillen was hurt or terrible in ’07 and wanted to get paid anyway.
You have to figure it’ll take three years, $30MM to even get in the door on a new contract for Guillen. He wants to stay, but admits the Mariners have to make a choice. That choice would apparently have to be benching Jose Vidro, shifting Raul Ibanez to DH, and using Adam Jones in left. Bringing Guillen back doesn’t seem likely, especially with Wladimir Balentien already sitting on the sidelines.
The Ms also officially ended the Chris Reitsma experiment.