Royal Blues

March 18, 2010 8:24 PM

Countdown to Opening Day: 18 Guillen Transactions

Guillen-Defensive-Disaster.jpgSpring training action is well underway in Surprise, but there's still a lot of time between now and Opening Day. I'll be counting down the days with a collection of random Royals-related numbers. Most of them mean nothing - this isn't supposed to be a groundbreaking series of research - but they'll hopefully make the days go faster until April 5.

18 Days = 18 Transactions involving Jose Guillen

From the day he was signed by Pittsburgh in 1992, Jose Guillen has been traded, released, granted free agency, or picked up as a free agent a total of 18 times.

After being granted free agency by Seattle in 2007, Dayton Moore outbid himself and one other imaginary GM and signed Guillen to a bewildering 3-year, $36 million contract. Mercifully, this is Year Three.

This is my favorite cluster of Guillen's career moves:

July 22, 2002: Released by the Arizona Diamondbacks.

July 29, 2002: Signed as a Free Agent with the Colorado Rockies.

August 1, 2002: Released by the Colorado Rockies.
(From Baseball-Reference)

That's quite a week (and change), isn't it? Guillen was dumped, picked up, then dumped again. That'll make any mediocre outfielder feel unloved. Luckily for Guillen, he found a GM 6 years later who is willing to love 30+ year olds who can't get on base, can't play the outfield, and don't really fit into any sensible 3-year plan. Surely his $36 million from the Royals have eased the sting of that July-August of 2002.

In Guillen's first season as a Royal, he batted better as a DH than he did when he was in either corner of the outfield. (.273/.311/.512 as a DH; .264/.300/.438 overall) His best numbers came in right field in 2009, but he only played 81 games overall, so small sample size comes into play.

Dick Kaegel reports that Guillen is intent on playing as an outfielder this year, his distaste for DHing has been reported many times before. But throughout his career, he has been a better hitter when he's the DH. So even if he were close to being an average defender - which he is NOT -  he could hurt the already-bad Royals by getting his wish to play right field.

But hey -- he is showing moxie! Who am I to argue with moxie?

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