First baseman Jesus Guzman has signed a one-year, $1MM contract with the Hiroshima Carp of Japan’s NPB, per the Japan Times. Guzman, who earned $1.3MM in 2014, can increase his base salary with performance-based incentives.
Guzman was outrighted by the Astros earlier this month; but, instead, elected free agency. In a Twitter conversation with the Houston Chronicle’s Evan Drellich, Rod Blunck of Octagon, Guzman’s agency, respected how Astros GM Jeff Luhnow and AGM David Stearns handled the situation by acting now rather than wait until the December 2 deadline to tender arbitration-eligible players a contract. Guzman was to enter his second year of arbitration eligibility as a Super Two player.
The 30-year-old showed promise in a breakthrough 2011 season hitting .312/.369/.478 in 271 trips to the plate for the Padres, but he has seen his numbers decline steadily since culminating in a .188/.272/.248 line (184 plate appearances) for Houston this past year. Guzman has been much more productive during his nine-year minor league career slashing .306/.375/.481.