I just can't seem to let this go. I really think Dayton Moore made a very poor decision in pursuing Guillen while showing little interest in Fukudome. I have no way of knowing if Fukudome would have signed with the Royals for the same money he accepted from the Cubs, but had the Royals shown him the same love they showed Guillen, things might have worked out differently.
Fukudome and Guillen both signed for $12M per year. Fukudome for four years, Guillen for three years. Fukudome is one year younger than Guillen.
According to 2008 ZiPS predictions:
Fukudome is by all accounts an excellent RF, possibly even gold glove caliber. Guillen is not bad, a bit above average.
Guillen will be suspended for the first 15 games of next year because of his use of performance enhancing drugs. If he goes off the juice we have to assume his performance will decline.
Guillen has a long history as being a difficult player to deal with. The Reds traded Guillen to the A's in 2003 after Guillen objected to being benched in favor or Ken Griffey Jr. when the future hall of famer returned from injury. Even though Guillen had a very good season the A's did not attempt to re-sign him. Reportedly several Oakland players asked management specifically to not to bring Guillen back because of the negative attitude he brought into the clubhouse. Guillen was signed by the Angels for a bargain rate in 2004. Once again he had a very good year yet the Angels still felt compelled to suspend him for the last week of the season and the post-season because he just didn't seem able to control his destructive behavior. Imagine, a team suspending a key player (Guillen hit 27 home runs and drove in 104 RBIs that season) just before the playoffs because he was just that big of an ass. It had to be pretty bad. I know that you don't build a winning roster around boy-scouts, but Guillen seems to be a serious problem case. Guillen has played for seven teams in the last eight years. This is not a coincidence.
Across the board Fukudome comes out the far superior player. The only reason Moore has ever offered as to why he fixated on Guillen while not having much interest in Fukudome is that Guillen is a right handed hitter while Fukudome is a lefty, and Moore felt the line-up could use more help from the right side. I find these efforts by Moore to micromanage the line-up in December unrealistic and short-sighted. You sign the best players, you don't play in-game strategy when signing free agents to multi year contracts in the middle of winter.
This diary serves no productive purpose at all. I just wanted to vent one more time about what I think was a poor decision by a man who I think is very astute in his overall judgment. I hope this diary comes back to haunt me, but somehow I don't expect that will happen. I'll still cheer for Guillen while he is wearing Royal blue, I just wish Moore had given us a player somewhat easier to embrace.