Hi gang. Got about two minutes here, so here's the short versions of the first of the big off-day news:
Mark Grudzielanek: Well, for chrissakes. If you're going to get angry about something, this is the one that has the requisite symptoms. There were hints throughout this process that the Twins weren't optimistic, like:
- the lackluster announcement about the signing,
- they chased Freddy Sanchez after he signed,
- they signed another middle infielder and plugged him second in the order and
- the announcement on the 31st that he might need a month or so to get ready.
Apparently, Grudzielanek felt the same way, given that he texted Joe Christensen that the whole process was a waste of time.
So, let's recap what we know:
- Grudzielanek was a .300 hitter over the last few year with above average defensive range at second base. Oh, and he's right-handed and has mostly hit in the second spot in the order.
- On the other hand, he didn't sign with a team this fall. However, he was offered arbitration, worth $4-5 million with the Royals. He turned that down, saying he wanted to sign with a team that had a chance at playing in the World Series.
- After signing with the Twins, he spend more time in the Gulf Coast League than the had estimated, and the Twins repeatedly downplayed his potential impact, even as they searched for (and found) other replacements.
So what are the remaining theses? Umpteen options, but the top two are:
1) Grudzielanek, at 39 years old, let himself go a bit and wasn't ready when the call (finally) came.
2) The Twins desperate for help at second base, biased themselves against a possible solution after a very short three week trial.
Grudz apparently feels like it's door number two. Me? One makes more sense, but my heard says #2 too. Maybe that the Twins fan half of me talking.
Rios analysis coming tomorrow morning......