Jenkins Not Returning to Brewers; M's Stupid to Let Guillen Go?
I was sad to hear that the Brewers aren't bringing Geoff Jenkins back next season. After being drafted by Milwaukee in '95, and getting called up to the bigs in '98, he went on to hit 212 HR over his career there (2nd most in team history behind Robin Yount, who had 251). For a lot of years, it seemed like Jenkins was the only big hitter the Brewers had. Now that they have a very talented young line-up & are contenders for the NL Central division, they're dumping him. Early in the '07 season, I was thinking how great it must be for Jenkins to finally be surrounded by good hitters, after enduring a 636-820 team record in his 9 years leading up to this season (similar to the feeling I had for Todd Helton this year). I've always been somewhat of a fan of Jenkins, and followed his career hoping that he would gain some hobby recognition. Maybe he'll get his chance on a team that will appreciate his skills & experience.
This weekend I was reading that the Mariners decided to decline their '08 contract option for Jose Guillen. My first thought was WHY? Guillen hit .290 (4th on team) with 23 HR (2nd on team) & 99 RBI (2nd on team), helping the M's to an 88-74 record (best since '03). I remember him hitting well in clutch situations, sometimes winning games for them. It sounds like the team wants to give their up-and-coming star Adam Jones a shot in outfield next season, and with Ichiro & Raul Ibanez locked up, it could be kind of crowded with Guillen there too. Since Guillen can still exercise his option to stay, and it seems like he's really found a comfort zone in Seattle, maybe he'll still have a chance to remain. I think that another big reason for the team not exercising his option was his $9 million salary for '08.
Both of these guys' rookie cards from '96 are probably trading in the "commons" price range, and would be a risky buy, given their uncertain futures and mid-career ages. I personally would like to see both of them do well, and gain some sort of hobby interest. But, as we all know, every season brings in a new crop of young future stars, so the number of veteran players that can hold collectors' attention inevitably decreases to make room for them. So, unfortunately, I would say that their time in the hobby has probably passed, but I wish them luck all the same.