Tuesday, September 18, 2007

More fuel for the 1st base fire

The Tigers' Carlos Guillen spoke to the MSM before tonight's game, and the main topic appears to have been his possible move to 1st base.

Guillen sounds as if he's not ready to play 1st on a full time basis.

When asked about the prospect of becoming Detroit’s regular first baseman next year, Guillen said, “It’s not what they asked me when I signed the contract. I can play first base, but my question is, ‘Who are they going to bring (in)?’ If they’re going bring in a shortstop, he’d better be a Gold Glove, and a pretty good hitter, because we’ve got (Ramon) Santiago.

“I said I’d play first base at the end of the contract – not at the beginning.”

Guillen's got a point, most any shortstop in MLB would be a downgrade, especially with the bat. For argument's sake, let's take a look at the upcoming crop of free agent shortstops.

David Eckstein (33)
Cesar Izturis (28) - $5.45MM club option for '08
Juan Uribe (29) - $5MM club option for '08
Omar Vizquel (41)

I'm not adding Alex Rodriguez to the list, as it's a virtual lock that the Tigers won't be able, or even have the opportunity, to sign him. I'm not saying they won't do their due diligence, and give Scott Boras a call. Dave Dombrowski would be negligent in his duties if he didn't.

Let's get serious. A-Rod to Detroit is not going to happen. Now that we have A-Rod out of the mix, let's move on...

I can only think of one word after looking at that short list... "Eww."

Anyone there you'd rather see as the Tigers' 2008 shortstop over Carlos Guillen? Obviously, his replacement is not coming to Detroit via free agency.

Methinks Guillen has seen that list too, thus plans on playing another year or two at short. The odds of the Tigers acquiring an A-list shortstop via a trade, such as Miguel Tejada, seem pretty damn long. I just don't see that sort of trade happening when there is still some tread left on Guillen's cleats.

I'm buying into the idea that in '08, Detroit's shortstop position will manned by a Guillen - Ramon Santiago combo, with Santiago starting a game or two a week, and playing in the late innings. Basically what Jim Leyland has been doing for the past few weeks. Going by the above blurb, Guillen seems to approve of the current status quo as well.

I can live with that proposal. It's a better option than moving an All-Star player to a position that he doesn't yet want to play, and replacing him with an older, very light hitting free agent.

I hope that Guillen's comment will finally put to rest the idea of his moving to 1st base full time for (At least) another year. I think we're all tired of the speculation, and Guillen is as well.

As to who plays 1st base for the Tigers next year? That's another post...


  1. I'm not convinced that A-Rod is out of the picture. Ilitch has never been hesitant to dig into his own pockets to pay a player that can make a difference. Look at some of the teams the Wings put out there, and recall that Ilitch is a baseball fan first and foremost. If they got him, they'd be the front-runner for next year, especially with the young pitchers they have.

    Ilitch wants the world series that got away from him last year. If he has to dump 10-15 million out of his own pocket, well that'll only leave him with what- a billion? And that's before the A-Rod jerseys go up for sale.

    Not saying it's a sure thing, but I think there's a good chance. Cuz A-Rod wants to lead a team to the Promised Land without The Guy He Plays Next To Now to steal any glory.

  2. GTW, I hope you're correct. I may have been overstating it a little that the Tigers wouldn't be in the A-Rod mix, but considering the tight Tigers - Boras relationship, you can never say never.

  3. Man, how'd you like to face that lineup? Other than Inge, where would the weak spots be?

    And good call on the Boras relationship. Didn't think about that.

    Eh. Who am I kidding? I didn't realize who his agent was.

  4. Before we go off on the shortstop--1st base tangent, what about catcher? Jorge Posada is available, even if John Miller and Joe Morgan think he's sewed up for the Yanks. Throw Pudge money at him and he might come across the Hudson and land in Dee-troit. As for first base, I keep thinking about the guy that The Foreman dumped in order to give Chris Shelton those ABs. That's right, Carlos Pena, the guy who couldn't hit my weight, let alone his. Right now he and his 40 taters would look pretty good patroling the first base area.

  5. Yeah, I think catcher is a problem. On the one hand, Pudge is over the hill. On the other hand, he's done a good job handling the young kids, and that's something the team needs. Plus, I'd hate to lose a shot at A-Rod because Pudge got dumped.

    Maybe we could do both....?