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Sox eye Nats shortstop Guzman, but did not place waiver claim

Posted by Nick Cafardo, Globe Staff  August 10, 2009 01:53 AM

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NEW YORK - The Red Sox have been searching to find a major league shortstop for quite some time and that search intensified this weekend after Jed Lowrie reinjured his left forearm and went on the disabled list.

Major League sources indicated early Sunday that the Red Sox had put in a claim on Washington Nationals switch-hitting shortstop Christian Guzman, who is hitting .315 after hitting .316 last season. But a Red Sox source indicated last night that after much deliberation they elected not to place the claim.

If Guzman goes unclaimed and clears trade waivers, the Sox and Nationals could still work out a deal. Guzman is a free-swinging hitter (he has only 13 walks and a .333 on base percentage) who has made two All-Star teams. He's hit mostly leadoff and second for the Nationals. Defensively he's also committed 13 errors.

During this trade waiver period teams can put in claims on players as they pass through waivers. The team awarded the claim on any player would have to have the worst record of any team who placed the claim. In Guzman's case, he would have to be passed on by every team in the National League first before an American League team would have a chance.

Guzman is currently in a two-year $16 million deal. He will earn $8 million next season, which would likely prevent a lot of teams risk placing a claim on him for fear the Nationals would just award him to get rid of the contract.

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