Guillen most likely won't be returning to M's
Outfielder Jose Guillen, immersed in steroids allegations, is headed for free agency after he declined Thursday to exercise his $5 million...
Seattle Times staff reporter
Outfielder Jose Guillen, immersed in steroids allegations, is headed for free agency after he declined Thursday to exercise his $5 million option to return to the Mariners for 2008.
Last Friday, the Mariners had declined to exercise the team's option on a $9 million contract for Guillen next season.
Guillen will receive a $500,000 buyout from the Mariners, and test his value on the free-agent market.
Despite the story in Tuesday's San Francisco Chronicle that Guillen had purchased more than $19,000 worth of steroids and human-growth hormone between May 2002 and June 2005 from a Florida anti-aging clinic, he is still expected to attract interest from teams.
The Mariners have left open the possibility they will still pursue Guillen, but that appears increasingly unlikely. The Kansas City Royals reportedly have interest in the 31-year-old outfielder, who hit .290 in 153 games last year with 23 homers and 99 runs batted in.
Guillen is expected to be asked by the commissioner's office to meet with baseball officials during the offseason to discuss the Chronicle allegations. He could be subject to suspension despite not failing any drug tests.
Royals general manager Dayton Moore, while not referring specifically to Guillen, didn't rule out signing players linked to steroids or HGH.
"Unfortunately, there was a period of time in baseball that we all know now that circumstances like this were occurring," Moore told the Kansas City Star at this week's general manager's meetings. "I think you've got to put it into perspective to that particular period of time even if it is a negative mark on the game."
On Tuesday, teams can begin negotiating with free agents other than their own.
Larry Stone: firstname.lastname@example.org
Copyright © 2007 The Seattle Times Company
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