Detroit Tigers: 2004-2011
Acquired in a truly great trade heist in Tigers history, Carlos Guillen went on to have a storied career in the Motor City. Guillen was with the Mariners from 1998-2003, before getting traded to the Tigers in exchange for minor league Juan Gonzalez and Ramon Santiago. Santiago made his way back to the Tigers in short order, and Guillen went on to make three All-Star games with the Tigers.
For his Tigers career, it’s easy to see why Guillen is ranked so highly: He slashed .297/.366/.476 with a 121 OPS+ and an 18.6 bWAR in 817 games, 487 of them at shortstop.
He started off with a bang in the Motor City, hitting .318/.379/.542 with 20 home runs, 97 RBI, 12 stolen bases and a blistering 143 OPS+ in 2004. He missed about half of the 2005 season but returned to form after that.
2006 is one of the greatest seasons in Detroit’s storied franchise history, and Guillen was a big reason why. Serving as the team’s primary shortstop and number five hitter, Guillen slashed .320/.400/.519 with 19 home runs, 20 stolen bases, 85 RBI, a 136 OPS+ and a 6.0 bWAR. He finished tenth in MVP voting. He was one of Detroit’s strongest postseason hitters as well.
Guillen went on to play five more seasons with the Tigers, although his last two were spent primarily on the disabled list. He was also moved around the diamond quite a bit, spending time at first base, second base and even left field. He ended up signing a minor league deal with the Mariners in February 2012 but voluntarily retired less than a month later.
Still, even though Guillen as a sub-par defender and spent a good chunk of time playing other positions, it’s clear he’s one of the greatest shortstops in Tigers history.