Mariners Analysis

Sunday, August 19, 2007

Guillen's extension

First of all- great sweep by the M's. They beat a bad Chicago team, which is exactly what a playoff caliber team needs to do. This is the best season since 2001 by far, and has been a joy to watch.

Meanwhile, we have heard an extension for Jose Guillen has been in the works for weeks. The question for Mariner fans- is this a good thing?

Looking ahead, we know Ichiro is in center. This much is assured. If you believe in Adam Jones, you have to think one of the outfield spots of the future will belong to the #1 prospect in the system.

That leaves one open spot, and the easy option is to lock up Guillen for three years. After all, 20-25 homers and 100 RBI's is nothing to sneeze at.

In fact, this option is so easy it's almost impossible to believe the Mariners veteran loving FO doesn't go for it. The money is on Guillen being in the Mariner outfield next year.

Just to add to the Guillen in 2008 theory, let's not forget to add he seems to be a positive in the clubhouse. While he has burned many a bridge in the past, this year he seems to fit in fine with the Mariner's squeaky clean image.

So why the delay? Is this just a money issue?

We already have heard there is no chance the Mariners conservative approach lends itself to two youngsters in the outfield next year, so it's hard to believe a certain slugger in AAA has much of a chance.

Still, the Mariners know Ibanez can't roam LF forever. Even their most ardent bobblehead producers have to understand his days in LF are numbered. But complicating the matter is what to do with Vidro- if you believe Jones should be in LF, and Guillen is in RF, then what about RAUUUUUL?

The reason Guillen hasn't signed is simple. The Mariners are trying to figure out how to get out of their own mess. They have serious roster construction issues and can't figure out a future that includes Guillen, Vidro and Ibanez with Jones standing on the sidelines.

The Mariners have a talented player in Jones and have talented youngsters in AAA ready to step up. For most teams this is a welcome problem to have.

For the Mariners, it's a marketing nightmare.

Guillen in my opinion is bad for the team in the long run. The money spent on Guillen would be better spent on pitching.

Therefore, expect Guillen on the team next year.

We'll examine this more in the off season, but even Bavasi is having thoughts around the wisdom of signing Guillen to an extension.