Carlos Guillen hasn’t played since straining his right calf while getting in position to field a ground ball back on September 18. While the veteran infielder hasn’t been ruled out for the entire postseason, Tigers manager Jim Leyland told Eric Lacy of the Detroit News today that it is unlikely he will be ready for the ALDS.
“It’s very unlikely we’ll have Carlos for the first round,” Leyland said. “That’s not to say he couldn’t be added (to the roster).”
Guillen, who didn’t make his season debut until mid-July following microfracture surgery on his left knee last September, is batting just .232/.265/.368 with three home runs, 13 RBI and a .633 OPS over 102 plate appearances in 2011. The 35-year-old switch-hitter also missed time in August due to a sore left wrist.
Ramon Santiago and Ryan Raburn have handled second base duties during his absence and will presumably split time there during the postseason.
Jim Salisbury of NBC Sports Philadelphia reports that Phillies owner John Middleton flew to Las Vegas for a meeting with Bryce Harper on Friday. Per ESPN’s Jeff Passan, it’s “more of a meet-and-greet than a sign-a-deal” affair, but as the club is still at the forefront of trade rumors involving the All-Star slugger, there remains a possibility (however slight) that something could be completed in the days to come.
Even now, the Phillies aren’t alone in the race to sign Harper, but recent rumors have helped whittle down the competition from five or more teams (Phillies, Nationals, White Sox, Giants, and Padres) to three strong contenders. The Giants are said to be interested in a lucrative short-term deal with the outfielder, while the Padres remain in the conversation despite inking Manny Machado to a mammoth 10-year, $300 million contract this week. It’s not yet clear just how far either team would go to outbid Philadelphia as talks with Harper intensify.
As for the Nationals and White Sox, the former officially bowed out earlier today, and MLB Network’s Jon Heyman adds that the latter won’t make a strong play for Harper as they feel the asking price and competing offers are “getting too high” for the 26-year-old’s services. If a mystery team is still in the mix, there’s been no word on their standing with Harper in the last month or so.