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Indians finalize minor-league deal with Cristian Guzman

Feb 22, 2012, 3:15 PM EST

Cristian Guzman

UPDATE: It’s now a done deal.

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After sitting out all of last season Cristian Guzman is expected to sign a minor-league contract with the Indians, according to Jordan Bastian of MLB.com.

Guzman, who made All-Star teams as a shortstop in 2001 and 2008, will be invited to spring training to compete for a bench spot.

At age 34 he’s likely to be stretched defensively at shortstop, but Guzman also has some experience at second base and has played sparingly in the outfield as well. He hit .266 with a .311 on-base percentage and .337 slugging percentage in 104 games for the Nationals and Rangers in 2010 and wasn’t much better in 2009, so even a bench gig is far from a sure thing.

Still, as a switch-hitter with good contact skills and plenty of middle infield experience he’s a decent no-risk pickup to compete with, among others, Jack Hannahan, Jason Donald, and Jose Lopez. Cleveland skipper Manny Acta managed Guzman in Washington.

  1. pmcenroe - Feb 21, 2012 at 3:08 PM

    Don’t know why but it’s kind of shocking that he is only 34….makes 2002 seem like 100 years old

    • pmcenroe - Feb 21, 2012 at 3:09 PM

      argh **ago

  2. natstowngreg - Feb 21, 2012 at 3:35 PM

    Do not, unless absolutely necessary, play him at shortstop or in the outfield.

  3. burm61 - Feb 21, 2012 at 4:08 PM

    As a Tribe fan it is seriously frustrating watching them sign every has been and never was to minor league deals. Maybe they will catch lightning in a bottle with somebody but I thought going into this past offseason they could easily contend in the Central with one or two big roster moves instead we get Derek Lowe and Christian Guzman.

  4. Lukehart80 - Feb 22, 2012 at 4:30 PM

    At first I was not sure if this move would be putting Asdrubal Cabrera out of a job or Jason Kipnis, but now I realize it means they will BOTH need to update their resume, because Guzman is good enough to play both.

    To keep nine guys on the field, Travis Hafner will sit in a lawn chair halfway down the 1st base line, to prevent any would be triples from making it into the corner.

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