Nats GM Mike Rizzo and manager Jim Riggleman met with Cristian Guzman yesterday to ask the shortstop to move to second base next year, according to MLB.com's Bill Ladson. Guzman, who has never played second base at the major league level, was apparently shocked and didn't give the Nats an answer.
The Nationals hope to improve their defense up the middle, so they're considering the shift. If Guzman agrees to the move, the Nationals would likely be in the market for a shortstop this offseason. They have had interest in Orlando Hudson before, but if Guzman plays second, they would be looking at one of these shortstops. If they decide not to spend on a free agent, they could pursue one via trade (the Brewers and Rays have shortstop depth) or call on prospect Ian Desmond, who impressed in his MLB debut.
Dave Cameron of FanGraphs says moving Guzman doesn't necessarily lower his value. Shortstop is considered the more demanding position, but Guzman could potentially help his team by moving to the right side of the infield.
This reminds me of Michael Young's decision to switch positions earlier in the year. The Rangers are in the pennant race thanks, in part, to Elvis Andrus, so Young's choice helped his club.