DETROIT -- Six years after the Tigers acquired Carlos Guillen from the Mariners in what ended up being a steal of a trade, it's interesting to recall how close he came to being a Cleveland Indian.
Before the Mariners sent Guillen to Detroit to free up the shortstop position for newly-signed free agent Rich Aurilia, Seattle was engaged in talks to send Guillen to Cleveland for All-Star Omar Vizquel, a former Mariner in his own right. Vizquel's physical, and the knee damage it revealed, reportedly caused the deal to fall apart.
At that point, it was clear that the Mariners were looking to replace Guillen, which made him essentially a throwaway player in a deal.
"God decided I'm going to Detroit," Guillen said Sunday morning.
Guillen ended up being a cornerstone for the Tigers' rebuilding effort, which later brought Magglio Ordonez, Kenny Rogers, Todd Jones and others to the Motor City as the Tigers expanded payroll. The Indians went on a run of their own, but mainly with homegrown talent, including Jhonny Peralta at shortstop. While Guillen is still a Tiger, the Indians are on a youth movement.