Guillen asks to be traded

Published 12:00 am Thursday, May 15, 2003

ST. LOUIS - Jose Guillen, the odd man out in the Cincinnati Reds' outfield on Wednesday, wants to be traded.

''In my mind and in my body I can be an everyday player for a long time, and I know I'm not going to be an everyday player here,'' Guillen said. ''So hopefully they'll trade me and let me go somewhere else where I can play every day.''

The return of Ken Griffey Jr. to the lineup for the first time since he dislocated his right shoulder on April 5 landed Guillen on the bench despite a .327 average with seven home runs and 21 RBIs. Griffey was in center field, flanked by Austin Kearns (12 homers, 31 RBIs) and Adam Dunn (13 homers, 28 RBIs).

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A disgruntled Guillen met with manager Bob Boone before the Reds played the St. Louis Cardinals, and left it feeling no better even though he'll be back in the lineup on Thursday. Griffey won't play on consecutive days for a while, Boone said.

Boone also said he'd keep all four outfielders active.

''I don't envision it as a problem as the world does,'' Boone said. ''But I know our team is better today.''

But Boone, a former major league catcher, also knows how Guillen feels.

''If the Phillies traded for Johnny Bench when I was playing, I probably would not have been happy,'' Boone said.

Guillen doesn't think Griffey will be a part-time player for long.

''He's going to play,'' Guillen said. ''He needs to get his timing ready, and the only way he's going to do that is play every day.

''Those three guys are going to play every day, those are the three main men right here in the outfield. I'm the one who's going to be sitting on the bench.''

The Reds went through a similar situation last year when Griffey returned from an injury and Dunn, Kearns and Juan Encarnacion all were playing well. Encarnacion eventually was traded to the Marlins.

Guillen, 26, is with his fifth team in seven seasons. The Reds signed him to a minor league contract last August after he had been released by the Rockies.

''Put yourself in my position,'' he said. ''I've been getting an opportunity to play and I've been taking advantage of it and I expect to keep playing.

''Then this is what happens.''

Guillen can be a free agent after this season. If he's not traded, he indicated he would leave the Reds.

''I'm just looking for a good spot where I can play, just move on and down the road just stay on one team and be an everyday player for years to come,'' Guillen said. ''Right now, to tell you the truth, this is not a good situation for me.

''It's kind of driving me crazy.''