Tigers’ Guillen, Cabrera to switch positions

DETROIT (Ticker) - The Detroit Tigers will have a new look when they take the field Wednesday against the Texas Rangers.

Detroit manager Jim Leyland announced after Tuesday’s 10-2 victory over the Rangers that Miguel Cabrera will be moving from third base to first, with Carlos Guillen moving to third from first.

An All-Star at shortstop last season, Guillen switched to first in the spring after Detroit acquired Edgar Renteria. Cabrera was acquired along with lefthander Dontrelle Willis from the Florida Marlins in exchange for Cameron Maybin, lefthander Andrew Miller and four others during the winter meetings in December.

He signed an eight-year, $152.3 million contract a month ago.

Leyland did not take any questions on the move but did address the situation after Tuesday’s win.

“I’m going to make a major announcement and I’m not going to answer questions about it,” Leyland said. “I’m going to make a statement and I’m going to leave it at that. We will now be moving Miguel Cabrera to first base and Carlos Guillen to third base. The reason is, we think at this particular time, it gives us a better team. So that’s what we’re doing.

“I just wanted everybody to know so that when you came in tomorrow and saw Guillen playing third and Cabrera playing first, you already know it from me so you’re not shocked and everybody panicking, running around, acting crazy.”

Neither Cabrera or Guillen seemed to be put off by the switch. Cabrera already has played at first base seven times this season and Guillen played third for parts of the 2000 and 2003 seasons in Seattle.

“”It’s no problem for me. It’s not my decision. I’m here to play for this team. I’ve played third base before,” Guillen said. “I played with Seattle two years, played winter ball. Not a lot but I played a little bit. It’s the other side of the diamond. I’m not going to put pressure on myself. I’m going to try to do the best I can. You’ve got to play where you’ve got to play.”

“I feel good over there,” Cabrera said. “They asked me if it was OK and it was cool with me.”

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Updated Wednesday, Apr 23, 2008