Notes: No concern on Guillen signing

Notes: No concerns about Guillen

NASHVILLE, Tenn. -- Take it from Mariners manager John McLaren, the Royals are getting a good package in Jose Guillen.

McLaren was a coach and then became manager last year during Guillen's only season with Seattle. He offered a thumbnail evaluation.

"Passion... great arm... clutch hitter -- I love Jose," McLaren said. "He's one of the favorite guys I've been around the whole time.

"I thought he did a great job for us. I'm going to miss him. He will speak his mind and I've never had a problem with that. I think he's going to be good, not only as a player, but good for the young players out there. He does want to win and he's got a passion."

And McLaren cautioned that reporters should stay on the alert:

"He'll keep you guys entertained because he's always got something to say."

Meantime, as of late Wednesday afternoon, the Royals still had not officially announced that Guillen had signed with them.

If a deal hinges on a physical examination, the team is under instructions to wait until that process is finished. Guillen was having his exam on Wednesday, but general manager Dayton Moore was still awaiting results.

Meanwhile, there was a report on a possible suspension faced by Guillen, because of alleged purchases of performance-enhancing drugs. Moore heard that just before a briefing session with Kansas City reporters.

"That was news to me," Moore said.

"What I said yesterday is what I'll say today in regard to any player that we're interested in. We do the background work and a very thorough in-depth evaluation on every player and once you become comfortable with that, you pursue, hopefully, an agreement."

That's what the Royals did, reaching agreement on a three-year, $36-million contract with Guillen late on Monday.

Rule 5 musings: The Royals have a full 40-man roster but they can create an opening by 8 a.m. CT on Thursday, one hour before the annual Rule 5 Draft.

If so, they could make a selection such as they did last year when they plucked pitcher Joakim Soria from the San Diego Padres. Despite that fortuitous pick, Moore wasn't certain if the Royals would make a selection on Thursday.

It's always a chancy business. The player selected has to be kept on the Major League roster or offered back to his former team for half the $50,000 purchase price.

Winter Meetings

"There are 40 spots on a Major League roster and the club that knows him best chose to leave him unprotected for whatever reason. So we all know the Rule 5 Draft is not necessarily the most productive talent pool that exists, but nonetheless, it's an exercise you go through every year," Moore said.

And last year they came up with Soria, who wound up being an effective closer as a rookie.

"Yeah, we were very fortunate that Louie [Medina] had seen him and it was a great matchup with timing and evaluation and we picked in the right spot. And we got a very good player," Moore said.

View on Andruw: There doesn't seem to be much movement on the Andruw Jones front. The Royals are interested in signing the former Braves' star center fielder despite their deal with Guillen.

The Los Angeles Dodgers also are pursuing Jones and, like the Royals, want to sign him to a short-term deal, perhaps one year or two.

Agent Scott Boras wants a longer-term contract so the sparring might continue for a while. Moore didn't appear to be a man about to spring a deal late on Wednesday afternoon.

Asked if anything was imminent, he replied: "Naw ... I don't know. There are some things that could happen but I'm not holding my breath."

Lewis released: Pitcher Colby Lewis was hardly around long enough to say howdy. He was picked up on waivers Nov. 2 from the Oakland A's.

On Wednesday the Royals released Lewis and he's headed for the Japan League. A move was necessary to clear space on the 40-man roster for recently-signed reliever Yasuhiko Yabuta who's coming in from Japan.

Dick Kaegel is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.