The Tigers are paying Carlos Guillen $13 million in 2011. I’m going to go out on a limb by saying the Tigers probably won’t get their money’s worth on him (nor have they through his four year deal) but that doesn’t mean Carlos Guillen can’t be a major contributor in the upcoming season. I’ve always been a Guillen fan and in a lot of ways, he (along with Ivan Rodriguez) were the guys that got the Tigers started on their way back to respectability. Still, $13 million is a princely sum for a guy who’s OPS hasn’t breached the .800 mark since 2008.
In fact if we stick to OPS, Guillen’s has fallen in each of the last since he had .920 back in 2006 (yes, that 2006). That’s not good. With that, Guillen doesn’t have to be a superstar to help the Tigers in 2011. They already have big bats in Victor Martinez, Miguel Cabrera and Magglio Ordonez so if he could become a decent table setter (think 2008’s OBP of .376) and he can play most of the season, he can make a huge impact in the lineup.
Of course for Guillen to have an impact, he has to play. That’s what makes the latest story about his recovery and the increasing chances that he’ll be ready by Opening Day encouraging. Of course also in the piece by Beck they ask the question as to how long Guillen will stay healthy and that’s probably the bigger question.