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Nationals Sign Ronnie Belliard

To a minor-league deal!

Looking to strengthen their bench, protect themselves in case of an injury to starting shortstop Cristian Guzman and help themselves for the trade deadline, the Nationals signed Ronnie Belliard to a non-guaranteed Minor League contract on Sunday. If he makes the 25-man roster, Belliard will make $750,000, plus incentives.

I can't understand how Belliard, a productive player in three consecutive seasons, has to sign a minor league deal to be an insurance policy for Cristian freaking Guzman while we're in the midst of an offseason in which eight-figure contracts are being offered like handbills at a hip-hop concert. Can someone explain this to me?