McGuiness hoping to stick around with Tribe

GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- Chris McGuiness' baseball life is currently in limbo. The Minor League first baseman has been in camp with the Indians all spring as a Rule 5 Draft pick, but it remains unknown whether Cleveland will be able to keep him in its farm system.

McGuiness is currently exposed to waivers and can be claimed by any team through Wednesday afternoon. If he clears waivers, the Indians must offer him back to the Rangers for $25,000, or attempt to work out a deal to keep the first baseman in the fold.

"I'd love to stay here," McGuiness said. "I like the coaching staff and from the Minor Leagues up to [manager Terry] Francona, everyone's been really good. I just want to play somewhere. I'm just ready to get into a routine and find a team that I'm going to be with for a while. I want to go get the at-bats and start building."

In December, Cleveland spent $50,000 to select the 24-year-old McGuiness from Texas during the Rule 5 Draft. Players added in that manner must remain on the acquiring team's 25-man roster all season, or be offered back to the original club at half the cost.

It became increasingly clear this spring that McGuiness -- with no career at-bats above Double-A -- was not going to make the Indians' Opening Day roster. He was still thrown into plenty of Cactus League contests, but McGuiness only hit .195 (8-for-41) in the 24 games he played through Monday.

"I couldn't ask for anything else," McGuiness said of his playing time. "I was in there every day. I got 40 at-bats. You couldn't have asked for more chances. I started a few games. The chances were there. I just couldn't really get into a groove. I couldn't find a rhythm, but that's part of baseball. It goes and comes. It's one of those springs."

Last season, McGuiness hit .268 with 23 home runs, 25 doubles and 77 RBIs in 123 games for Double-A Frisco in the Rangers' system. He was then named the Most Valuable Player of the Arizona Fall League after hitting .283 with four homers and 27 RBIs in 25 games for Surprise in the offseason.

"I've said it before, I wish he wasn't a Rule 5," Francona said. "It's hard for a position player to skip Triple-A and come to the big leagues. It's not altogether fair to expect them to be able to put up numbers. There's so much to like about him.

"I don't know if it's going to work or not -- if we could keep him -- but I wish we could. I don't know how that's going to work. I know [GM Chris Antonetti] is going to try."

McGuiness is just ready to know one way or another.

"Spring Training has kind of been a whirlwind," he said. "I'm ready for this season to start, wherever it may be, and go from there."

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.