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Joel Guzman Clears Waivers

FRIDAY: No takers for Guzman; he cleared waivers.

TUESDAY: According to Marc Topkin of the St. Petersburg Times, the Rays designated Joel Guzman for assignment today.  Guzman was once very highly regarded - Baseball America ranked him as the 5th best prospect in the game in '05 and 26th in '06.

The Dodgers signed Guzman as a 16 year-old for $2.25MM in '01.  He played shortstop and received the team's minor league player of the year honor in '04.  He was moved to left field to start '06, and Ned Colletti traded him to Tampa Bay in July for Julio Lugo.  The Rays had him play first and third, and let him dabble at second.  Guzman, 23 now, posted a .248/.276/.438 line in Triple A.  He's never shown an ability to draw walks, and his much-heralded power hasn't shown up.

Guzman's tale exemplifies the uncertainty of prospects; BA had him above Scott Kazmir, Hanley Ramirez, Matt Cain, Prince Fielder, Chad Billingsley, and Carlos Quentin in '05.


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