Royals designate Jose Guillen for assignment

SEATTLE — The Royals walked away from roughly $4 million this afternoon by designating veteran outfielder Jose Guillen for assignment.

The move follows unsuccessful attempts to trade Guillen, who leads the club with 16 homers and 62 RBIs in the final season of a three-year deal signed in December 2007 for $36 million.

Guillen, 34, is currently mired in an 0-for-21 slump that dropped his average to .255.

The move also clears the way for Kila Ka'aihue to get regular duty either as the first baseman or designated hitter in tandem with Billy Butler.

The Royals replaced Guillen on the roster by recalling right-handed pitcher Philip Humber from Triple-A Omaha.

By designating Guillen for assignment, the Royals bought 10 days of negotiating room to trade or release him. During that time, he is not permitted to have contact with the club.