Nationals retain rights to Guzman

Nationals retain rights to Guzman

JUPITER, Fla. -- The Nationals retained the rights to outfielder Garrett Guzman on Sunday, acquiring him from the Twins in exchange for a player to be named later or cash considerations. Washington has until July 15 to send Minnesota that player or the cash.

Guzman was a Rule 5 Draft pick, and Washington had to make a decision by Monday on whether to keep him or send him back to Minnesota and receive half of the $50,000 they spent to get him.

Guzman, who is considered a fourth outfielder by the club, said his style is more suited for the National League. He will start the season for Triple-A Columbus. Guzman, 24, is batting .222 (4-for-18) with a homer and two RBIs in 12 Spring Training games. He also has played excellent defense.

"I'm excited about being with the Nationals," Guzman said. "Since I've been here, it has been stressful not knowing what's going on. This past week, I haven't been playing, but I've been making it through cuts and getting meal money, so that was good."

General manager Jim Bowden said on Sunday that the Nationals tried to keep first baseman Matthew Whitney, another Rule 5 pick, who was sent back to the Indians on Saturday. However, the Indians asked a lot in return in order for the Nationals to retain Whitney's rights.

This spring, Whitney went 3-for-28 (.107) with a homer and six RBIs. The Nationals will get back half of the $50,000 they spent for selecting Whitney in the Rule 5 Draft.

"We wanted to make a trade for him," Bowden said. "But given the fact that we have [first baseman] Chris Marrero coming and the price [was too high to keep] Whitney, we just couldn't make it work. We would have liked to."

Bill Ladson is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.