The Tigers will have Carlos Guillen through the 2011 season. Per Danny Knobler, the deal is for 4 years and $48 million.
This is great news, and the last item of the business that the Tigers needed to wrap up heading into the season. the deal is quite reasonable considering the contracts given to other lesser shortstops such as Julio Lugo and Orlando Cabrerra in recent years, and Michael Young just recently. Guillen’s injury history probably prevented him from getting Young type money. Still, at $12 million per year this appears to be a great deal for the Tigers. I also wouldn’t be surprised to hear that there are escalator clauses for plate appearances, similar to the deal that Guillen had in 2004 when he arrived.
The contract is such that Guillen should hopefully be able to play a productive shortstop for at least the first 3 years. If in the last year he has to move a less demanding position it will probably still be a decent value in 2011 dollars.
I don’t want to say the deal is a bargain for the Tigers, because Carlos Guillen is getting nearly $50 million. But like the Jeremy Bonderman and Brandon Inge signings, both agreed to stay with Detroit long term and while they were rewarded, they probably took less than they could have had on the open market.
Maybe the Tiger Tax is now the Tiger Tax Credit.
UPDATE: Now there are some quotes coming out. It appears guaranteeing the 4th year is what made it all possible. And like I said all along, give him the 4th year if it means keeping him for the next 3. Guillen also is amenable to a position switch later in the contract if that’s what the team needs him to do. In return the Tigers granted him a limited no trade clause.