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GUILLEN GOES TO WASHINGTON

After a temper tantrum that led to an eight-game suspension and a course in anger management, Jose Guillen needed a change of scenery.

He'll find it in the nation's capital. The Anaheim Angels traded Guillen to the Washington-bound Expos -- the soon-to-be Nationals -- on Friday for outfielder Juan Rivera and prospect Maicer Izturis.

"It was the best thing that could happen, taking into consideration the way things ended last season between us," Guillen told the Associated Press from his home in Miami. "I'm excited to be a part of the Expos and part of history, now that we'll play in the U.S. capital."

Guillen was suspended for the final eight games of the regular season and dropped from Anaheim's playoff roster after he threw a tantrum in the dugout and clubhouse when he was removed for a pinch runner Sept. 25. In a grievance settlement, he agreed to allow the Angels to withhold two days' pay.

The trade caps a busy week for new General Manager Jim Bowden, known for his aggressive dealing when he was with the Reds. Tuesday, the Expos agreed to a $16.8 million, four-year contract with shortstop Cristian Guzman and a $6.2 million, two-year deal with third baseman Vinny Castilla. Bowden also re-signed manager Frank Robinson for another year, and Jose Rijo said Friday he will be the team's pitching coach.

In other baseball news, Kris Benson and the New York Mets closed in on a three-year deal worth about $22.5 million, a baseball official with knowledge of the negotiations said on the condition of anonymity. Al Leiter and the Mets were nearing agreement on a one-year contract worth $4 million to $5 million plus performance bonuses.

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