By John Boyle Herald Writer
SEATTLE — After eight seasons in Detroit, Carlos Guillen will play for the Mariners once again.
Well, that is if Guillen can make the team.
The 36-year-old Guillen, who played in Seattle from 1998 to 2003, signed a minor league contract with the Mariners on Wednesday with an invite to spring training. A three-time All-Star with the Tigers, Guillen is now in a position where he will be battling for a roster spot to most likely serve as a backup infielder.
Guillen first came to Seattle in 1998 as part of the trade that sent Randy Johnson to Houston. He was the starting shortstop on Seattle’s 116-win team in 2001, and a year earlier was responsible for one of the more memorable postseason moments in team history with his bunt single that clinched a playoff sweep over Chicago. He was traded to Detroit prior to the 2004 season and went on to make the American League All-Star team three times in the next five years. Over the past three seasons, however, Guillen has seen his playing time decrease significantly while battling numerous injuries. Last season Guillen hit .232 with 3 home runs and 13 RBI, playing in just 28 games. Guillen didn’t play until July because he was recovering from microfracture surgery in his knee, and was sidelined later in the season by a wrist injury.
With Guillen joining the team, the Mariners will now have 66 players at spring training including 26 non-roster invites, making for what should be a very crowded and competitive spring training.