The Royals pulled off another deadline deal Friday morning by sending outfielder/designated hitter José Guillen to the San Francisco Giants for a player to be named later.
The move occurred just as the Royals’ 10-day grace period to determine a resolution was set to expire following their Aug. 5 decision to designate Guillen, 34, for assignment.
“It’s a good deal for us,” general manager Dayton Moore said, “and it’s good for José to go someplace to be in a pennant race. That’s good for him and the Giants.”
The Royals are also sending “a considerable amount” of cash to the Giants to defray the roughly $3.4 million that remains in Guillen’s three-year, $36 million salary.
Indications are San Francisco will play slightly more than a pro-rated share of the major-league minimum. Guillen is expected to join the Giants in time for Saturday’s game in San Francisco.
A player to be named later is usually a lower-level minor leaguer.
Rules require that a player to be named later be identified within six months of the transaction and not be an active major-league player in the interval between the trade’s announcement and its completion.
The deal officially ends Guillen’s often-tumultuous time with the Royals, which began Dec. 6, 2007 when he signed a three-year deal as a free agent. He led the club in homers and RBIs in 2008 before injuries limited him last year to 81 games.
Guillen played 106 of the Royals’ 108 games this season prior to being designated for assignment and, even now, has club-leading totals of 16 homers and 62 RBIs despite ending with a zero-for-21 skid that dropped his average to .255.
“Regardless of what the opinion is,” Moore said, “he was a productive player for us. I appreciate everything that he did. We wish him well.”
His sharp comments in criticizing teammates and even fans often overshadowed his on-field production. He referred to his teammates as “babies” and used colorful language in responding to criticism from fans.
“I know it got a little rough at times,” Guillen admitted after being designated for assignment. “My passion is I want to win, and sometimes that gets misunderstood by people.”
Guillen stirred the pot again early last month by saying the Royals were “one of the worst teams in all of baseball” in their ability to execute the game’s fundamentals.
“There were times when José would get upset with individuals,” manager Ned Yost said, “and (when) individuals would get upset with José.
“But at the end of the day, everybody was here for one goal – to win baseball games. That was his major goal. He set a good example of what it took to be prepared every day.”
Giants general manager Brian Sabean minimized concerns that Guillen could be a disruptive presence.
“We’re convinced he’s ready to play baseball,” Sabean said. “(He’s) coming to a winning situation, which Kansas City wasn’t. The players run our clubhouse. I don’t see any kind of problem.”
The deal comes with the Giants trailing first-place San Diego by 2½ games in the National League West Division. It suggests the Giants had sufficient interest in Guillen to avoid the risk of not signing him once he became a free agent.
Guillen is expected to become the Giants’ regular right fielder, which means Aubrey Huff will shift to first base.
“We didn’t acquire him to be on the bench,” Giants manager Bruce Bochy said. “He’s healthy. He’ll be a good fit here.”
The Giants, in their search for a run-production bat, discussed a possible deal with the Royals prior to the non-waiver trading deadline on July 31. Talks resumed once Guillen cleared waivers in early August.
The trade brings a return to the Bay Area for Guillen, who played for Oakland in 2003. That season marked the only postseason appearance in a 14-year career that now covers 10 teams. Guillen went five for 11 when the A’s lost in four games to Boston.