With Ian Kinsler being placed on the Disabled List yesterday with a strained groin, the recently free-wheeling Jon Daniels wasted no time finding a temporary replacement, trading currently unknown prospects for veteran middle infielder Cristian Guzman according to MLB.com’s Bill Ladson. While the Kinsler move to the DL was more precautionary than potentially serious, the Rangers are taking no chances.
Guzman will also give the Rangers needed insurance up the middle, as backup infielders Andres Blanco and Joaquin Arias are not very slick with the bat. ZiPS projects Arias for a .292 wOBA going forward and a .295 mark for Blanco. Although Guzman only has a .304 wOBA on the season, ZiPS likes him for a .319 rate the rest of the way. The main issue for Guzman this season has been his power; after slugging .440, and .390 over the past two seasons, he has dropped down to .361 in 2010, his lowest total since his horrendously terrible 2005. The combination of summer and Arlington may give Guzman a little power boost.
Defensively, Guzman has adjusted decently to second base this season according to UZR (although Baseball Info Solution’s Defensive Runs Saved does not think as highly). Guzman shouldn’t be called on to spell Elvis Andrus very often, as the former’s range at shortstop is well below average.
For Washington, they’re capitalizing on an aggressive market that is lacking in the available stars of recent years. After snagging Wilson Ramos from Minnesota for Matt Capps, the prospects they get back from Texas could be pretty good considering that the Rangers are overpaying in farm talent for salary relief in lieu of their recent bankruptcy. However, we’ll wait and see if the bigger dominoes (Adam Dunn and Josh Willingham) fall before tomorrow’s deadline.
Pat Andriola is an Analyst at Bloomberg Sports who formerly worked in Major League Baseball's Labor Relations Department. You can contact him at Patrick.Andriola@tufts.edu or follow him on Twitter @tuftspat