Hot tempered Jose Guillen is more than likely on the Angels’ trading block, and the Sun-Sentinel’s Juan Rodriguez can see a number of ways in which the outfielder ends up in Miami.
The Marlins spent part of their efforts investigating ways to acquire Guillen, who the Angels are shopping after a tumultuous first season with them. Guillen, 28, signed a two-year, $6 million deal last winter and is due $3.5 million in 2005. The Angels also have a $4 million club option in 2006 they can buy out for $300,000.
For a payroll-challenged team like the Marlins, that’s a reasonable commitment for a guy who batted .294 with 27 homers and 104 RBI in 2004. In addition, Guillen (above) batted .327 with runners in scoring position and totaled nine outfield assists.
Landing Guillen may not be as easy as dealing directly with the Angels. The reigning American League West champs need a center fielder and would love Juan Pierre, but one industry source said the Marlins aren’t parting with their leadoff hitter.
One possible scenario could involve a three-way deal with the Angels and Diamondbacks. The Angels still covet left-hander Randy Johnson and could employ the Marlins’ help to get him.
According to one National League executive, the Marlins and Diamondbacks spoke often leading up to last season’s trading deadline. The Diamondbacks are fond of left-handed power-hitting first baseman Jason Stokes.
The Marlins also have an influx of quality arms headed for Double-A next season. To part with any top-flight pitching prospects, the Marlins would likely need a quality, affordable reliever in return. Brendan Donnelly, perhaps?
Such a deal would likely take a while to cement. The Angels probably wouldn’t be able to accommodate both Johnson and free agent center fielder Carlos Beltran, who they are pursuing as well. In addition, the Diamondbacks haven’t determined what they’re doing with Johnson. Owed $16 million in 2005, Johnson can veto any trade.
To accommodate Guillen, the Marlins would look to jettison Juan Encarnacion. That’s problematic as well, considering Encarnacion had the National League’s third-lowest on-base percentages in 2004 and is coming off shoulder surgery. He is owed $4.45 million in 2005.