The Tribe recently signed veteran shortstop Cristian Guzman to a one-year deal.
Talk about doubling down: after already getting a four-year, $16.8 million deal from former Nationals GM Jim Bowden before the 2005 season, Guzman managed to have 18 months of relatively useful production into a two-year, $16 million extension signed during the 2008 season. The ink on the contract was hardly dry before he reverted to his ”out-making” ways. His ephemeral offensive value had been constructed on a short-term jump in his line-drive rates and the concurrently higher BABIPs they produced, but walking in fewer than three percent of his plate appearances last year—a rate only surpassed in the NL by the swingin’ comedy team of Miggy and Bengie—guaranteed that he would once again show up on most “OBP sinkhole” lists. The Nationals once considerd a move across the keystone to hide his ever-decreasing range. It’s safe to say 2010 was his true level of production.
According to Paul Hoynes of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, Guzman will compete for the utility infielder’s job. His last year in the big leagues was 2010, when he played for the Nationals and Texas. The switch-hitter batted .266 (97-for-365) with two homers and 26 RBI. He played shortstop, second base and right field. Guzman said he had rotator cuff surgery on his right shoulder three years ago and it prevented him from playing last year. He spent the first six years of his career as the Twins’ shortstop where Indians fans hated him for turning hard ground balls in the Baggie-Domes rock hard carpet into “seeing eye” singles.
Cristian Guzman will compete for a spot on the 25 man roster.