SEATTLE: Cristian Guzman #12 of the Texas Rangers flies out to right field against the Seattle Mariners at Safeco Field in Seattle Washington. (Photo by Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images)
The Cleveland Indians are signing veteran infielder Cristian Guzman to a minor-league contract. I wouldn't expect him to contribute very much.
There are baseball players you can never forget about. There are baseball players you can easily forget about. And there are baseball players you forget about, but then when you're reminded of them, you're overcome by this torrent of memories. The Cleveland Indians are signing one of those last guys:
INF Christian Guzman took physical with Indians today. Minor League contract w/ spring invite likely official Wed. More soon on mlb.com.— Jordan Bastian (@MLBastian) February 21, 2012
Here's what this means for the Indians: very little. The Indians are already comfortably set in the infield, with Asdrubal Cabrera, Jason Kipnis and Jason Donald in the middle. Guzman's going to hang around as emergency depth. Maybe he'll make it to Cleveland at one point. Maybe he won't. He is not a big factor in the 2012 Indians' plans.
But it's always interesting to be reminded of guys like this. Guys like Cristian Guzman. Minor-league contracts are handy towards that end. Guzman's 33. He's most of the way to 34. He didn't play in 2011 due to family issues. The season before that, he was a National and a Ranger. But most people probably remember Guzman as a Twin. Guzman played for Minnesota from 1999 through 2004, and he hit a lot of triples without doing a lot of anything else. He played with Luis Rivas, and Corey Koskie, and Doug Mientkiewicz, and Jacque Jones ... Guzman was one of those "classic" Twins. Guzman played shortstop while the Twins blossomed from a bad team into a good team.
I don't know what Cristian Guzman has left to contribute. Probably not very much. But I'm glad I saw him in the news. The best thing about baseball is thinking about current baseball. The second-best thing about baseball is remembering past baseball.