Infielder Carlos Guillen, a three-time All-Star who played 14 major league seasons, announced his retirement Tuesday.
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”It’s a tough decision for me, for my family, for everybody because I tried to come back,” said Guillen, who was at the Seattle Mariners’ spring training camp as a non-roster invitee.
Guillen said he considered the decision for the past few days. Last season, Guillen hit .232 in 28 games with the Detroit Tigers. But he was on the disabled list from March 30 to July 16 while recovering from microfracture surgery on his left knee and from Aug. 14 to Sept. 1 because of a sore left wrist.
”I’ve been through a lot of injuries. Your body tells you,” he said.
Guillen joined the Mariners organization on a minor-league deal last month and was expected to compete for a utility reserve role. But he had yet to play in a spring game. He informed his teammates of his decision before the Mariners’ game against the Cincinnati Reds at Peoria Sports Complex.
”It’s the best for this team,” he said. ”There’s great talent here, a lot of young guys with a lot of talent.”
The 36-year-old Guillen hit .344 in 19 postseason games and .353 in the 2006 World Series with the Tigers.
His bunt single in the ninth inning clinched Game 3 of the Mariners’ 2000 division series against the Chicago White Sox.
”It was an exciting moment, one of the best moments of my career,” Guillen said.
An amateur free-agent signing by the Houston Astros in 1992, Guillen, a native of Venezuela, was traded to Seattle with Freddy Garcia and John Halama for Randy Johnson in 1998. The Mariners traded Guillen to Detroit for infielders Ramon Santiago and Juan Gonzalez in 2004.
Guillen hit .285 during his career with Seattle (1998-2003) and the Detroit Tigers (2004-11).