It’s a shame, but Carlos Guillen doesn’t appear likely to contribute to the Tigers’ postseason run this year.
On what appeared to be a perfectly innocent play, Guillen suffered a right calf strain and left Sunday’s game against the A’s. It unfolded as Jemile Weeks hit a slow grounder back to pitcher Justin Verlander. Guillen took a few steps in, just in case the ball got by Verlander, and quickly came up lame. After being looked at by the trainer, he was able to gingerly walk off the field without assistance.
Guillen, who underwent microfracture surgery on his left knee last year, has been limited to 95 at-bats this season. He was making just his third start today since coming off the DL on Sept. 1. In the previous one, he went 3-for-5 with a homer against the White Sox on Wednesday. Still, he’s hitting only .232/.265/.368 overall.
Because of his struggles, Guillen was no sure bet to make the Tigers’ postseason roster anyway. Now it appears doubtful he’ll be included. The Tigers will likely have Ryan Raburn and Ramon Santiago split time at second base next month.
Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.
That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.
Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.