Bowden Lands Slugger Guillen

Article excerpt

Byline: Thom Loverro, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Jim Bowden continued to lead the hot stove league in deals yesterday when Washington's interim general manager acquired power hitter and problem child Jose Guillen in a trade that sent two of the team's most promising young players - outfielder Juan Rivera and shortstop Maicer Izturis - to the Anaheim Angels.

Bowden said he had coveted Guillen, 28, who batted .294 with 27 home runs and 104 RBI in 148 games for Anaheim last season, since getting his job with the relocated Montreal Expos franchise.

"Two hours before I was introduced, I called Bill [Stoneman, Angels GM] and told him we were interested," said Bowden, who was seen in talks with Guillen's agent, Adam Katz, at the general managers meetings last week. "We've been working on this for 17 days."

Bowden, who has known Guillen since their days together when Bowden was the Cincinnati GM and signed Guillen as a minor league free agent in 2002, knew that Guillen would be on the trading block because of an incident last season that resulted in the Angels suspending him for the last eight games and the playoffs.

Guillen, who will be with his eighth major league club in eight seasons, was hit by a pitch in the eighth inning of a Sept.25 game against Oakland. When Angels manager Mike Scioscia put in a pinch runner, Guillen stormed into the dugout, tossed his helmet near where Scioscia was standing and threw his glove against the wall.This was one of several incidents in which Guillen created controversy within the Angels clubhouse. In May, after being hit in the head with a pitch against the Toronto Blue Jays, Guillen went on a profanity-laced tirade, complaining that his teammates weren't retaliating on his behalf.

Those are the incidents that were made public. At the time of the suspension, Stoneman said, "Unfortunately, this was not the first time something has cropped up with Jose."

Stoneman maintained yesterday the primary season for trading Guillen was to allow Garret Anderson to move back to left field, but he also conceded the outfielder's attitude was a factor, adding, "I'm not going to deny that the issue had something to do with the trade."

However, Bowden said that Guillen has since undergone therapy and is continuing with treatment.

"He went through a difficult time, and we feel comfortable that he has learned from it," Bowden said. …