Guillen's deal official with Mariners
Another chance is all that new Mariners outfielder Jose Guillen wanted. A chance to prove he could still hit despite a rebuilt elbow. A chance to show...
Seattle Times staff reporter
ORLANDO, Fla. — Another chance is all that new Mariners outfielder Jose Guillen wanted.
A chance to prove he could still hit despite a rebuilt elbow. A chance to show he still has the legs and arm to be an everyday right fielder. A chance to demonstrate that he isn't a clubhouse cancer despite playing for his eighth team in nine seasons.
And, very important for a player who missed most of the 2006 season, a chance to cash in on at least some of the big money being thrown around to free agents this winter. The guaranteed $5.5 million Guillen is to receive next season from the Mariners after passing a physical on Sunday — with incentives worth another $3 million — is far more than seemed possible not too long ago.
"The thing I like best is that the incentives really aren't all that tough," Guillen said, adding that he'll get six-figure bonuses for things like reaching 520 plate appearances and appearing in 120 games. "All I really have to do is stay healthy. That's something I have every intention of doing, believe me."
Guillen had reconstructive elbow surgery last season and appeared in just 69 games. But he easily topped the plate appearance and game requirements in his bonus clauses in the three previous seasons when he was healthy.
His one-year contract pays him $5 million next season, with a $9 million mutual option for 2008. The team can buy Guillen out of his option year for $500,000, bringing the total guaranteed money for next season to $5.5 million.
"The thing I'm really looking forward to is that I hear [manager] Mike Hargrove likes to play his regular players every day," Guillen said. "I'm not the type of player who likes to play one day and sit the next. I want to be in there every day and get a chance to earn my bonuses and help the team win.
"The way they've set this up, it looks like that's what they want as well."
The 30-year-old Guillen gives the M's the added bat they were looking for as they head into the winter meetings, which start here today. Seattle's primary aim is to add two pitchers to its starting rotation.
There are also continued rumors swirling that the Boston Red Sox will try to pry hot hitting prospect Adam Jones away from Seattle in some type of package for Manny Ramirez. Such a move would seem a daring feat for a Mariners management crew that already has its hands full trying to land the pitching it needs.
Geoff Baker: 206-464-8286 or firstname.lastname@example.org