OF Jose Guillen, Royals finalize $36 million, 3-year contract

Updated: December 6, 2007, 5:50 PM ET
Associated Press

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Jose Guillen and the Kansas City Royals completed their $36 million, three-year contract Thursday, hours before the power-hitting outfielder was suspended for the first 15 days of next season for violating baseball's drug policy.

Guillen and Baltimore's Jay Gibbons were disciplined by Major League Baseball, making them the first players punished as the result of government investigations into performance-enhancing drugs.

"We signed Jose knowing that was a possibility," Royals general manager Dayton Moore said. "While my initial reaction is one of disappointment, I am thoroughly convinced that Jose will put this behind him and we collectively support him as he begins a new chapter in his baseball life as a member of the Kansas City Royals."

Neither Guillen nor Gibbons were charged by the government. Both were accused in media reports of receiving human growth hormone after January 2005, when it was banned by baseball.

Guillen instructed the players' association to file a grievance on his behalf.

The 31-year-old slugger batted .290 with 23 homers, 99 RBIs and 28 doubles for the Seattle Mariners this year. Seattle declined its $9 million option and Guillen turned down a $5 million player option, receiving a $500,000 buyout.

Guillen and the Royals reached a contract agreement Tuesday at the winter meetings, subject to a physical.

"We feel we have acquired an impact bat from the right side of the plate," Moore said Thursday. "He has a proven major league track record of success and we are looking forward to seeing him in the lineup in Kansas City."

The San Francisco Chronicle reported last month that Guillen bought nearly $20,000 worth of steroids and human growth hormone from 2003-05. Major League Baseball began testing for steroids in 2003, and penalties for first offenses began in 2005.

"We told the commissioner's office my version of this whole affair, which in some ways has been handled with some errors in the media," Guillen was quoted as saying by ESPNdeportes.com.

Guillen, who can play right or left, joins a crowded outfield. David DeJesus is in center, and the Royals already have Emil Brown in left and Mark Teahen in right. Teahen, however, also can play first base.

New Royals manager Trey Hillman said this week that if the deal was finished, Guillen would slot into the middle of the order. Hillman wasn't too concerned about which outfield spot Guillen would play.

"Defensive position is not as important for me as the added potential to the lineup with slug and driving runs in," Hillman said. "It would depend on how some other things fell."

Guillen has also played for Pittsburgh (1997-99), Tampa Bay (1999-01), Arizona (2002), Cincinnati (2002-03), Oakland (2003), the Angels (2004) and Washington (2005-06). He is a .274 career hitter with 166 homers and 673 RBIs.

The Royals plan to make a corresponding move for their 40-man roster at a later date.


Copyright 2007 by The Associated Press

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