Jose Guillen is one of the many, many guys who wouldn’t be nearly as maligned as he is if it weren’t for his contract. I mean, no, he’s no great shakes, but if he was doing one year deals for reasonable money every winter no one would be saying bad things about him. Well, not many bad things about him. He’s been useful at times, and I kinda feel bad when people go after guys like him simply because Dayton Moore decided to overpay him. Even when I do it, which I’m sure I have before.
Anyway, the point of all of this is that, assuming no one makes a deal for him in the next nine days, some team is going to be able to sign him for peanuts after the Royals release him. I had half a thought yesterday that Atlanta might be one of those teams because they could still use an outfield bat. I think Frank Wren knows, however, that he’ll lose the entire fan base if he trots out 2/3 of the 2010 Kansas City Royals’ outfield in the middle of a pennant race. The messaging is just wrong, ya know?
But the Yankees and Giants don’t seem to mind: each of them is reported to be at least somewhat interested in the guy. Which is a bit funny because (a) the Yankees have brought in something like 248 extra position players in the past week, so I’m not sure whose place Guillen would take; and (b) the Giants are already running Pat Burrell out to left field, so why would they want to add another frequently-gimpy and none-too-fabulous outfielder?
But the point is made: without the $12 million albatross hanging around his neck, Guillen is at least moderately desirable and could very well wind up with his 10th team sometime this month.
Infielder Brett Lawrie successfully avoided arbitration and signed a one-year contract with the White Sox on Friday, per a team announcement. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman added that the deal was for $3.5 million, significantly lower than the $4.125 million Lawrie was paid by the White Sox in 2016.
The White Sox acquired Lawrie last December in a swap for minor league arms Zack Erwin and J.B. Wendelken. After splitting time at second and third base for the Athletics in 2015, Lawrie slotted in at second base and DH for the White Sox and batted .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs in 384 PA. While it’s strange to see a healthy, fairly productive player receive a salary reduction in arbitration, Lawrie missed nearly half of the season with a strain in his left hamstring, though he’s projected to return at full health by the start of the 2017 season.
Left-hander Brian Duensing signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Cubs on Friday, per a report from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman.
The free agent spent the bulk of his 2016 season with the Orioles after receiving a call-up from Triple-A Norfolk in early June. He underwent elbow surgery several weeks later when a freak bullpen injury revealed cartilage chips and inflammation in his pitching elbow, but recovered to finish the season with a 4.05 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings for the club. The Orioles utilized him for a final out during the AL Wild Card game, during which Duensing recorded a five-pitch strikeout in the ninth inning of their 5-2 loss to the Blue Jays.
The 33-year-old is currently expected to bulk up the Cubs’ left-handed relief corps, with fellow left-hander Mike Montgomery slated for the rotation in 2017.