Guthrie was a starter in the minors, but spent most of his major-league career as a middle reliever, relying on a good forkball and a herky-jerky motion to get batters out.
After seven seasons in Minnesota, Guthrie was dealt to Los Angeles in 1995. He re-signed with the Dodgers in 1996, hoping to return to the rotation, but Los Angeles was loaded with talented starters. Stuck behind Hideo Nomo, Ramon Martinez, Ismael Valdes, and Pedro Astacio, Guthrie never started a game in a Dodger uniform.
A solid season in 1998 earned Guthrie a two-year, $3.2 million contract from the Red Sox, but the veteran hurler proved ineffective against lefties and was dealt to the Cubs with Cole Liniak that August for Rod Beck. The trade was the first of many moves for Guthrie, who saw action with Tampa Bay and Toronto the following season.
Guthrie signed with the A’s in 2001, reuniting him with fellow Twins minor-league farmhand Billy Beane, who was serving as Oakland’s GM. When a reporter asked if Beane had been any good as a player, Guthrie declined to answer. “It might hurt my negotiating position,” he explained.