Twins Sign Mark Grudzielanek

19 Jul

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Just found out from a source with knowledge of the situation that the Twins have signed 2B Mark Grudzielanek to a minor league contract. He is en route to Ft. Myers where he will spend a few days getting ready. He will likely join the Twins within a week. The 15 year major league veteran just turned 39 at the end of last month. He has not played at all in 2009 after playing in just 86 games for the Royals last year. Apparently this is the Twins answer at 2B!?

UPDATE – to add my thoughts on it… I just have to reiterate. He is now 39 years old. He has not played yet this year and has been available to all 30 teams all season (and last offseason). He missed half of last season with injury. Maybe he is an answer. I don’t think he’s the answer. Is he better than Punto and/or Casilla. Maybe. I can’t even say that for sure at this point. But, I guess it is a move at a position of need without giving anything up. Sorry ya’ll, I wish I could be a little more excited. I hope he comes in and takes over the position and becomes a solid player like he was a few years ago.

Check back as more details develop. Please feel free to Send me an e-mail, or leave your questions or comments here.


44 Responses to “Twins Sign Mark Grudzielanek”

  1. Matt in SD July 19, 2009 at 12:29 pm #

    This is the answer??? I think I’m going to be sick….

    However, I would love to hear what you think about this move, Seth. Is it really as terrible as I think?

  2. Shawn in Binghamton July 19, 2009 at 12:35 pm #

    i like it…. it may not be “the answer” but it won’t hurt

  3. Erin July 19, 2009 at 12:46 pm #

    Um…I guess this is just as good as a trade?

  4. Nathan July 19, 2009 at 12:46 pm #

    Solid glove, decent bat. It beats giving up prospects for the overpaid Freddy Sanchez.

  5. scot July 19, 2009 at 12:56 pm #

    I could be wrong but I don’t see this helping the team.

  6. scott July 19, 2009 at 1:00 pm #

    Could be a alright move.. What does this mean for Punto and Casilla? Is this a pre curser to a bigger move?

  7. Mike July 19, 2009 at 1:01 pm #

    This is awful. Freddy Sanchez is a perfect #2 hitter and better than average second baseman. The Pirates ARE going to trade him and the Twins should be able to meet Pitsburgh’s demands without emptying the farm.

    I try not to overreact to the Twins’ conservative business model, but if ever there were a perfect fit to add via trade, Sanchez is it. The team has a VERY good core of young home grown players, but we are never going to see a World Series Championship with middle infielders that can’t hit .200.

    Of course it’s impossible to know exactly what the Pirates would want in return, but it’s more than likely Sanchez wouldn’t cost Revere, Hicks, Valencia, Ramos, or anyone on the current Major League roster. I’m sorry, but the success of the team in the past couple years has been miraculous considering Bill Smith’s terrible judgement.

    • Funkytown July 19, 2009 at 1:29 pm #

      Bingo. PIT doesn’t need a 3rd baseman(Valencia) and are dealing to stock up OFs already. get some of their pitching so we aren’t subjected to more Duensing, please.

    • Greg July 19, 2009 at 2:23 pm #

      Do you really think the Pirates would take anything less than a top prospect for an All Star? I mean, sure, if the Pirates would take Danny Rondon and Jeanfred Brito, go for it. But come on, of course they are going to want talent in return.

      • John July 19, 2009 at 2:50 pm #

        Sanchez is not an impact player, he’s an above average second baseman with 1 more year on his contract. He’s not overpaid but it’s not a bargain either. Pittsburgh will not get an elite prospect for him.

        They are probably hoping they can get 2 decent prospects.

      • Mike July 19, 2009 at 4:08 pm #

        I suggested a package below.

  8. Matt in SD July 19, 2009 at 1:04 pm #

    Are the Twins trying to show the Pirates that they don’t need Sanchez, thus decreasing the Pirates’ demands? If that is the case, Grudz would be a great guy to have around coming off the bench….

  9. Mike July 19, 2009 at 1:06 pm #

    #8…You’re 100% percent right. And if that is in fact the case, then I definitely will give Bill Smith a pass on this one, but I feel like I’ve seen this before. Brett Boone, Tony Batista, etc.

    • Funkytown July 19, 2009 at 1:27 pm #

      More of “The Twins Way” of doing things.


  10. Shawn in Binghamton July 19, 2009 at 1:15 pm #

    I’d love Sanchez but not for Liriano

  11. TT July 19, 2009 at 1:22 pm #

    This is actually the kind of gamble the Twins should be taking right now. He may be another Boone, but he could also be a guy who provides an average bat and decent glove up the middle,moving Punto to shortstop and allowing Harris to split time between short and spelling Crede at third. Sanchez may be a better immediate option on the field – but he would be a LOT more costly both to the Twins future and to their budget.

  12. John July 19, 2009 at 1:29 pm #

    The Twins always leak ludicrous trade scenarios to defend their non-acquisitions. The Pirates will not get Liriano-value from any team nor would they expect to. They got less than that for Nate McLouth, a star, in his prime, with several years left on his deal.

    So, unless the Pirates went from reasonable traders to utterly irrational in the span of several weeks, Sanchez will be available (if at all) for a very doable price. The real problem is Sanchez’ salary, even though the Twins have payroll room and are moving into a new stadium.

    Grudzielanek might well be better than Casilla, and so having him at AAA is not the worst thing ever, but the excuses coming from the front office are beyond tiresome at this point. The Twins are all about accountability and professionalism, unless it involves Smith lying about the practicality of making a trade.

  13. mike wants wind July 19, 2009 at 1:29 pm #

    The Yankees and Red Sox are quaking in their boots, and Mauer just asked to sign at a discount, after this AGRESSIVE move by BS.

  14. scott July 19, 2009 at 1:30 pm #

    Cmon Bill Smith… We gave you your shiney new stadium, Now give us Freddy Sanchez

  15. Funkytown July 19, 2009 at 1:33 pm #

    I would think that Casilla was the answer after his 1-4 performance Saturday night.

    • oj July 19, 2009 at 4:49 pm #

      He went 1-5. But it actually raised his avg!

  16. Mike July 19, 2009 at 1:40 pm #

    #11…I just feel as though the team doesn’t need to be making a gamble at all. Say Sanchez costs something along the lines of Casilla, Mulvey/Guerra, and Robertson/Fox.

    The Twins still have Blackburn, Baker, Slowey, Liriano, Perkins, Swarzak, Mulvey or Guerra, Duensing, Manship, DeVries, Gutierrez, McCardell who are all at or above AA. As for the pen, we’d still have Nathan, Guerrier, Mijares, Dickey, Keppel, Neshek, Crain, Delaney, Slama, Burnett, Bonser, Gabino, and Pino.

    Are all of these guys sure bets? Absolutely not, but it doesn’t look like there’d be a shortage of pitching any time soon. On top of that, some of our best relievers over the last couple years have been scrap heap guys from other organizations anyway (Dickey, Keppel, Breslow).

    If Sanchez left after 2010, the compensation picks may even surpass the value we trade.

    I don’t see the 8 mill option vesting as being a big deal either. No Crede, Ayala, or Mike Lamb (I believe they are still paying him this season).

    Sure, there are other factors to consider like arbitration and Mauer’s deal, but I don’t think that is an unreasonable amount of payroll for a team that is opening a brand new stadium.

  17. Matt in SD July 19, 2009 at 1:51 pm #

    OK, I took a deep breath, feeling better. This is really not a bad signing, and I have always like Grudz. No risk, possible moderate reward. I guess the only thing that I am upset about is if this is our “big” move, what does that say to our stars? If I was Mauer, I’d give BS the finger when he comes knockin’ about an extension. Its getting old, as fans, when can we be able to not have to say: “He’ll POSSIBLY provide league average/slightly above average production”…. Maddening. Oh well, here is to hoping that Grudz is feeling well, and can help our boys out!

    Go Twins!

  18. Dan Larson July 19, 2009 at 1:53 pm #

    ” becomes a solid player like he was a few years ago.”

    GRUDDY circa 2008: .299 AVG /.345 OBP / .399 SLG / 1.6 WARP

    I would say he fit my definition of a “solid” player (not good but league average)as late as last year. There’s every reason to doubt he can maintain the above production though given his age and the fact that no other team wanted him until now.

    In fact if you had asked me to describe Mark G. before today the first words that would come out would either be “solid” or “average” and then I would probably guess he was either a bench player on a solid NL team I don’t follow or had decided to retire in the offseason.

    Its a conservative gamble on a modest upgrade to the infield – Gruddy needs to be ready to go right away though, can’t waste more than a month with this experiment.

    For reference:
    2008 Casilla(careeryear?):.287AVG/.342OBP/.392SLG/0.6 WARP

  19. Matt in SD July 19, 2009 at 1:54 pm #

    One more note: If this means Harris is replaced at short with Punto, I fear my head may explode….

  20. Nathan July 19, 2009 at 2:56 pm #

    Sanchez is not worth the money he’s being paid. Even the Pirates realize that, as they’ve asked him to take a pay cut.

    • Mike July 19, 2009 at 4:18 pm #

      No no. The Pirates told him to take a pay cut because they are somehow under the delusion that their fans will believe that they actually tried to re-sign him. This is the same organization that publicly stated “payroll will go up when attendence goes up.” Kind of backwards, eh?

  21. Kunza July 19, 2009 at 3:01 pm #

    Billy Smith is starting to look the Twins version of Kevin McHale. Holy cow are we in trouble!

    I never would have thought that Mauer would have any interest in leaving, but after watching this clown run this team farther and farther into the abyss by not addressing needs, I think Mauer would definitely rethink his options.

    Oh wait, I’m sure Billy will trade him next summer for a dozen Pro-V1’s and someone like Garrett Jones.

  22. RyanW July 19, 2009 at 3:02 pm #

    Nice scoop Seth.

    Love it.

  23. Andy July 19, 2009 at 3:23 pm #

    It is a low risk, potential reward signing. I say go for it, it’s fine, lets see what happens. He is definitely a professional and that counts for something.

  24. sploorp July 19, 2009 at 3:25 pm #

    The Pirates offer was a joke. It was meant to look like they tried to keep him, but the player didn’t want to stay. It’s pretty clear that the Pirates are looking to dump salary.

    As far as what the Twins will have to give up, I can’t imagine it would be as much as people think. First off, the Pirates definitely want to rid themselves of Sanchez’ contract. Secondly, just how many teams actually need 2nd base help right now – most are looking for pitching.

    While I do feel Grutz is a low risk pick up with lots of potential upside, Sanchez would be as close to a sure thing as we could get.

    This guy is on the block and he’s going to go cheap. And we’ll probably be left wondering what could have been once again.

  25. thrylos98 July 19, 2009 at 3:27 pm #

    Look at it this way:

    who would you rather have on the bench:
    Buscher or Grudz?

    I’d take Grudz

  26. TwinsFix July 19, 2009 at 3:49 pm #

    Totally fine with this move. As long as Smith has something else up his sleeve (hopefully beginning in San- and ending in -chez) this move is perfect. No risk, and the possible reward is average offense and above-average defense. Not bad.

    I have my doubts about whether a 39-year old male who hasn’t played professional baseball all year can repeat his 2008 “success,” but I’m remaining optimistic.

  27. JimCrikket July 19, 2009 at 3:50 pm #

    Statistically, offensively and defensively,Grudz is everything Sanchez would be IF HE’S HEALTHY.

    That’s what it comes down to, his health. If he’s OK, then he’s basically the equivalent of Sanchez (and he’s faced AL pitching, which Sanchez has not). He’s older, yes… but it’s not like Sanchez is a young guy they’d count on for years to come anyway.

    It all comes down whether Grudz is healthy enough to play up to his usual level. If so, he’s a LOT better than anything else the Twins have thrown in to that spot this year.

  28. JimCrikket July 19, 2009 at 3:52 pm #

    And as for what Sanchez would require in a trade, I thought we already had reports that it was going to have to start with Liriano and go from there. If you can get similar productivity from Grudz, pay much less for it, and still keep Liriano and anyone else it would have cost to get him… it would be a good deal, wouldn’t it?

    • Mike July 19, 2009 at 4:25 pm #

      A year ago, the Pirates got Bryan Morris and 3 guys that were considered prospects about 3 years ago. Hanson looks like a Quad A guy, Moss is a 4th outfielder at best, and LaRoche is a below average third baseman. Even though Morris was the key to the deal, he hadn’t pitched above A-ball and was coming off of a Tommy John operation.

    • John July 19, 2009 at 4:26 pm #

      Yes, in the imaginary land where Sanchez would actually cost that much.

  29. doofus July 19, 2009 at 5:05 pm #

    This atleast helps put us in a position where we have a different option for negotiations for a trade. now we can say we atleast have an almost average 2b instead of pure suck there. Gives us some leverage in negotiations for a trade…..

    We will give you Swarzak and Plouffe for Sanchez……….

    or if Grudzzz accidently hits .300 then that just might solve the problem.

    • Mike July 19, 2009 at 5:11 pm #

      See, this is why I have my doubts that the Twins will even consider a trade now. Let’s say Grudz joins the Twins in four or five days. The team has A) a second baseman that hasn’t played baseball in about 10 months and B) about a week to evaaluate him before the deadline. That just isn’t a big enough sample size.

  30. Bill July 19, 2009 at 5:13 pm #

    I’d prefer Sanchez, of course, but this signals that Sanchez wasn’t available. And Grudzielanek couldn’t help but be better than Casilla and Tolbert.

    I’m happy enough with this. Just don’t expect to be getting Sanchez, or anything else. This is a good bet to be it for ’09.

  31. Bill July 19, 2009 at 5:16 pm #

    hey, Seth gets credited on! Pretty sweet.

  32. tree9546 July 19, 2009 at 6:54 pm #

    This is a typical Twins move. On the cheap and NEVER going for it. This team has ZERO chance of doing anything in the playoffs. They have holes at the 2, 7, 8 & 9 spots in the lineup. I can see a contender having a few holes but not that many.
    Billy Bob needs to push Pirates for Sanchez & a reliever…Trade anyone buy Hicks, Valencia & Revere!

  33. TT July 19, 2009 at 7:48 pm #

    The folks that think Liriano is too much to give up seem to be forgetting that Liriano, at the moment, is a mediocre major league starter. I doubt the Pirates are going to make that deal on a one-for-one basis. They have until next spring to deal Sanchez. Making a deal now saves them a couple months of salary. If you remember, Tommy Herr cost the Twins Tom Brunansky, and that was for less than a season.

  34. observer July 19, 2009 at 8:06 pm #

    I don’t see where this helps. But since he’s virtually free, there’s nothing to lose. I’m a believer that the 2B problem is solved by looking in AA. Best bats and gloves of the bunch. The organization is a bit flipflopped. The guys above AA aren’t as good…but they’ll toil through this. And these boards will light up until they get there.

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