Plan B: Jose Guillen

jose_guillenAccording to Adam Rubin of the Daily News, the Mets’ “Plan B” for a power-hitting left fielder is Jose Guillen.

No, that is not a joke.

The Mets have been linked to Guillen before, as Omar Minaya seems to have a fascination with the volatile and sullen slugger. It didn’t make sense to obtain him a year ago, and it makes less sense now, for the same reasons.

Before, it didn’t make sense because Guillen was both physically and emotionally fragile, had a reputation for causing problems in the clubhouse, and therefore wasn’t worth the expense nor the heartache he would inevitably incur. My argument then was this: if you are going to use personality issues as an excuse not to sign the best righthanded hitter and RBI man in the game — Manny Ramirez — then why in the world would you look into acquiring Jose Guillen, who is less skilled and carries more baggage?

But of course we know the answer to that — it had nothing to do with “Manny Being Manny”, but rather, “Manny Getting Multimillions”.

Don’t take that the wrong way — the Wilpons are far from cheap, as witnessed by the Mets having the second-highest payroll in the game. A better descriptor: penny wise and pound foolish.

Actually, there are two differences between last year and this year when it comes to Guillen. Number one: last year Guillen was coming off two consecutive healthy seasons, whereas this year, he’s coming off an injury-riddled year, marked by torn ligaments in his knee and hamstring woes. Number two: last year it was unclear whether the Royals were willing to take on salary when dumping Guillen — in fact, the supposed Luis Castillo – Guillen deal was likely to have the Mets eating some of Castillo’s salary. This time around, however, the Royals appear willing to include cash in a deal that rids them of the eternal enigma (though, they’d want a “cheap outfielder” in return, such as Angel Pagan). With only one year commitment, and some of his $12M salary paid by KC, Guillen looks like a better gamble to some in the Mets’ front office.

What do you think — more penny wise, pound foolish thinking? Post your comments below.

(BTW: Hat tip to “isuzudude” for the link.)

Joe Janish began MetsToday in 2005 to provide the unique perspective of a high-level player and coach -- he earned NCAA D-1 All-American honors as a catcher and coached several players who went on to play pro ball. As a result his posts often include mechanical evaluations, scout-like analysis, and opinions that go beyond the numbers. Follow Joe's baseball tips on Twitter at @onbaseball and at the On Baseball Google Plus page.
  1. Harry Chiti November 22, 2009 at 1:30 pm
    The “small market” teams do this all the time. The good ones like Minnesota and Cleveland and Florida make the playoffs at least as often as the Mets do. The main difference is that when these teams see a failed season they shed everything they can to prepare for the next run. The Mets haven’t done this move. They want to be big boy and little boy and it doesn’t work. How about a plan, any plan, Yankee plan, Twinkee plan, Marlin plan. just develop a freakin plan and stick with it for a while, and a while is not a weekend Minaya/Wilpon.
  2. joejanish November 22, 2009 at 1:40 pm
    Harry – I think you have accurately and succinctly described the Mets’ problem for the past 7-8 years. Well done.
  3. Joe Z November 22, 2009 at 1:54 pm
    Even without money in consideration, I’d still prefer to start the year with Angel Pagan in leftfield rather than Jose Guillen.

    On Mets Hot Stove, Beltran called Pagan as talented as anybody.

  4. isuzudude November 22, 2009 at 2:01 pm
    I agree with Harry, and I’m definitely in the same camp as Joe Z. Pagan > Guiilen. No brainer. I don’t even think I’d trade for Guillen if the Royals were paying half his ’10 season and it only cost the Mets someone like Nick Evans or Chris Carter. I just don’t see Guillen being any help whatsoever.
  5. gary s. November 23, 2009 at 2:23 pm
    harry, we have a plan…it’s the “rotunda plan”