Jose Guillen is in camp, in shape and healthy after two off-season surgeries (neither done by Jose himself, this time).
On the one hand, good for Jose. He showed up ready to go, saying all the right things about helping the team and, at least on the first day, seems to be motivated to have a good year.
On the other hand, Guillen is ‘not about to concede’ his outfield spot and become the full-time designated hitter. Anyone see some clubhouse outbursts down the line?
Guillen’s prickly personality aside, my real concern lies in what Trey Hillman might do.
Last year, we saw several occasions where Hillman sat David DeJesus against lefties (who David hit 13 points higher against than right handers last year) in favor of Willie Bloomquist. What is he going to do with Jose Guillen, who for all his faults is a better hitter (when healthy and right) than Willie?
Rick Ankiel was promised the centerfield job and Dayton Moore did not go out and sign Scott Podsednik to have him sit the bench. So that leaves DeJesus on the firing line, along with Alberto Callaspo. How long into the season will it be before the Royals trot out a lineup that does not include those two players? Players that just happened to be and probably still are the team’s second and third best hitters.
It is certainly not bad to have options and competition in spring training. Who knows? A market might yet open up that allows Moore to make a move involving one of the above. Right now, however, the thought of Trey having more options to ‘mix and match’ mostly makes my head hurt.
Perhaps, as someone is sure to comment, this is too much worrying about something that has yet to happen. Here’s a better question, which trade would you make on say, March 20th:
- Guillen for a mid-level (somewhere outside of an organization’s top 15) prospect
- Callaspo for an untested but near major league level position player (probably outside of an organization’s top 10) and another minor prospect
- DeJesus for a real prospect emerging from AA and another mid-level prospect from about the same level
Are any of these trade options really realistic? I am frankly not sure, go ahead and comment on that, too. At same time, however, assume that the deals are out there and tell me which one you would do.