The Cleveland Indians continue to make smaller signings and prepare for spring training. According to Jordan Bastian on Twitter, the Indians gave a physical to Cristian Guzman on Tuesday and plan to sign him to a minor league contract with an invite to spring training on Wednesday. It's a significant signing, given Guzman's history.
Guzman made the All-Star team as a shortstop in 2001 and 2008, and after sitting out a season, he's hoping to come back much stronger. He's always been able to make contact with the ball, but his last two seasons were sub-par, with a .266 average with the Rangers and Nationals in 2010. That was over the course of 104 games, but it's a longshot he'll see anything near that much action this coming season.
Still, that's the crux of these deals - you get a chance to come in and compete, and work your way back into a lineup. There's no risk for the Indians because it's such a minor deal and he might be able to light a fire under guys like Jack Hannahan and Jason Donald. His 2008 season saw him hit .316 and post a .345 OBP.
Guzman does have some history with Cleveland manager Manny Acta, playing for him in Washington.