Guzman to the Sox?

Nats should trade their shortstop

By Chris Needham
|  Monday, Aug 10, 2009  |  Updated 10:01 AM EDT
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Guzman to the Sox?

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Some Nats fans will be taking the Lord's name in vain if the team doesn't trade Guzman.

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Yesterday might've been Cristian Guzman's last home game at Nats Park.  The shortstop was placed on waivers recently, and he's been claimed by the Boston Red Sox, according to the Boston Globe.

If the Sox are awarded the claim -- and it's not clear that they're the only team to put a claim in on him -- then the Nats would be able to work out a deal.  The Nats could also just give away Guzman's contract to the Sox on the waiver claim, but the Nats prefer to get something in return for him, says the Times.

This is another one of those big tests for Mike Rizzo.  He's had plenty of those lately, hasn't he?

Cristian Guzman is not this team's long-term shortstop.  His range has steadily been declining, so much so that the team openly has commented on it.  Offensively, he is (to use the cliche) what he is: a no-walk, hacktastic, low-on base, slap hitter.  It has its uses, and as a shortstop, he's a decent (not great) hitter.  Put the offense with the defense, and overall, he's perfectly average.

Is that worth $8 million next season?  Perhaps.  To the Nats?  Probably not.

Dumping Guzman's contract would free up more cash for next year's payroll.  (Or free up more money for the Lerners' net worth)

For the short term, the team could slide Al Gonzalez to short, where his so-so offense would be more acceptable.  They could play the rejuvinated Ron Belliard at second, sharing time with Willie Harris.  They could even dip down into the minors and give one of their kids an early flavor of the majors.

Guzman isn't in the team's long-term plans.  The Red Sox are desperate, needing every extra run they can squeeze out of their lineup.  The move is so obvious, Rizzo has to make it.

Will he?

Chris Needham used to write Capitol Punishment.  He'd just let Guzman walk for nothing.

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