Royals Sign – Wait, What? – Aaron Guiel


If you’re looking through minor league transactions, you might find yourself with a quizzical look and a sense of surprise.

This afternoon, Twitter nearly fell apart at the seams upon the news that the Kansas City had signed former Royals outfielder Aaron Guiel.

Seriously. Baseball America reported it and everything.

Some Aaron Guiel facts:

  • Guiel was born on October 5, 1972 – ten months before George Brett made his major league debut.
  • Aaron Guiel hit 90 home runs in Japan after leaving the majors.
  • Eric Hosmer was 12 years old when Aaron Guiel debuted with the Royals.

So why would the Royals sign an outfielder who turns 40 at the end of the year? My first thought was that they’d be bringing him in to fill in as an extra body for drills and such, similar to how players in the NFL are signed to fill out the practice squad or cover assignments. From there they could stash him within the organization similar to how they signed Vance Wilson in 2009 and kept him in Double A all year. Now he’s a rising star in the minor league managerial ranks.

Guiel announced his retirement last November. Sure, there’s a chance that he’s looking to make a comeback, but it would be a wild surprise if he was doing anything but coaching somewhere in the minors in 2012.

The Royals had also signed Devon Lowery in December after a year outside of baseball following years of injury-plagued seasons. HE spent last year coaching high school ball in North Carolina and will likely end up in the same boat as Guiel.

But if the Royals start signing Terrance Long, Mark Quinn and Mark Redman, you’ll have adequate cause to panic, as Allard Baird may have staged a coup.