Nats' Guzman could stay at shortstop
Washington remains in market for second baseman
If the Nationals are able to sign Orlando Hudson or Adam Kennedy to play second base, Cristian Guzman most likely will remain at shortstop.
The Nationals also could trade Guzman to make room for Ian Desmond at short, but that seems unlikely because it would be difficult for Washington to trade Guzman, who is scheduled to make $8 million this coming season.
Washington had planned to switch Guzman from shortstop to second base because of the lack of range to his right and shoulder surgery he had after the 2009 season. But the Nationals apparently changed their minds as they try hard to acquire Hudson or Kennedy.
General manager Mike Rizzo and manager Jim Riggleman were not available for comment, but Guzman's agent, Stanley King, said his client believes he is a valuable shortstop.
"Cristian has expressed that he is willing to help in any way the Nationals see fit," King said via phone. "He is a Washington National and he would like to make certain that we are all on the same page with what the future holds."
King believes Guzman, 31, will have a better season in 2010 because he will be 100 percent healthy when the season starts. Guzman is already throwing the baseball and is no longer having the bunion problems he had during the second half of the '09 season. King said the foot problems were a major reason Guzman lacked range at shortstop.
"Cristian has something to prove this year because of all the rumblings and grumblings about the way he plays defense," King said. "Nobody has even asked if the ailments or foot issues contributed to his lack of range. It was a question that was missed. I think he will show that he can help the team defensively. He is not a defensive liability. Hopefully, it's a good year for him as well as the Nationals."
Bill Ladson is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.