Carlos Guillen, whose major league career began in Seattle - and required a pair of knee surgeries in his first 15 games - returned to the Mariners today after signing a minor league contract.
Now 36 and a 14-year veteran, Guillen has been invited to Seattle's big-league camp and will try to win a job. Once a shortstop, Guillen is a .283 career hitter who might fit in as a third baseman, utility infielder or could come off the bench as a pinch hitter.
The key to Guillen sticking with the team will likely be his health. Troubled by injury often in his career, which included eight seasons in Detroit, Guillen hasn't played as many as 100 games since 2008, and last year was limited by injury to 28 games with the Tigers.
Originally acquired from Houston in 1998 when the Mariners traded Randy Johnson, Guillen played 10 games with Seattle that year, then tore the anterior cruciate ligament in his left knee. A year later, in the Mariners fifth game of the season, Guillen tore the ACL in his right knee and missed the rest of that year.
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Nicknamed 'Glass' in his first few seasons with Seattle, Guillen played second base and shortstop, and was traded to Detroit after the 2003 season for infielder Ramon Santiago. Guillen flourished in Detroit, batting .297 in eight seasons, although injuries to his knees, shoulder and hamstrings gutted his final three years there.
A free agent, Guillen drew little interest this winter and will be one of 17 non-roster players invited to spring training on a minor-league deal.