SAN FRANCISCO — The San Francisco Giants made another move for the stretch run Friday, acquiring veteran outfielder Jose Guillen from the Kansas City Royals in exchange for a player to be named later and cash considerations.
The Giants haven't been to the playoffs since 2003 and were in the NL wild-card chase until mid-September last season. Getting over the hump in 2010 to end the six-year drought is the franchise's top priority.
The Royals announced the deal hours before the Giants hosted the first-place Padres in an NL West showdown at AT&T Park. San Diego held a 2 1/2-game division lead heading into the weekend series. The Giants, who will be Guillen's 10th major league team in 14 seasons, said Guillen was set to get into town late Friday and would miss the series opener.
Guillen is expected to be in uniform today, when the club will be forced to make a corresponding roster move.
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The Royals designated Guillen for assignment last Thursday, giving them 10 days to trade him, release him or send him to the minors if he cleared waivers.
Giants general manager Brian Sabean has been busy in recent weeks. He has acknowledged he believes the Giants are a playoff team, but that keeping pace with the Padres will be tough.
On Wednesday, San Francisco traded for utility infielder Mike Fontenot, who was already in the ballpark with the Chicago Cubs before switching teams.
Sabean found the lefty reliever the Giants needed when he acquired Javier Lopez from the Pittsburgh Pirates at the July 31 trade deadline. San Francisco also acquired righty reliever Ramon Ramirez from the Boston Red Sox at the deadline. That's after the Giants got resurgent slugger Pat Burrell in June following his poor start with Tampa Bay. Burrell is thrilled with the fresh start and has jump-started the offense of late.
The 34-year-old Guillen signed a $36 million, three-year contract three years ago that made him the Royals' highest-paid player per year in team history. He spent the 2003 season in the Bay Area with the Oakland Athletics.
Just a month ago, Guillen put together a hitting streak that stretched to more than 20 games. He is batting .255 and led the Royals with 16 home runs and 62 RBIs when he was designated for assignment last Thursday. The move allowed Kansas City to play highly touted prospect Kila Ka'aihue every day, and Guillen also didn't like being a reserve.
Guillen struggled with injuries in Kansas City. He played in only 81 games last year and hit nine home runs, tied for his fewest since 2002. He was out for weeks after a knee injury sustained while he was putting on a shin guard and missed several days of spring training in 2009 after deciding to rip out an ingrown toenail with a pair of pliers.