Tuesday, December 02, 2008

Arb offer to Grudz was easy choice

If some silly person made me the Royals GM for one day, and that day happened to be yesterday, I'd also offer arbitration to 2nd baseman Mark Grudzielanek. Naturally, some commenters at Royals Review are seeing this as a negative thing, but I don't see it as a problem at all. (RR fellas, I love you dearly, but y'all are a lot more negative than I am.)

If he accepts:
The Royals have a 2nd baseman whose production is predictable, in a good way. OR, if Dayton Moore doesn't actually want him on the team any longer*, the Royals can release him and only pay 1/6 of whatever the offered amount was. From Bob Dutton:
The Royals retain some financial wiggle room if Grudzielanek accepts arbitration because arbitration-determined salaries are not guaranteed. Teams must pay only one-sixth of a salary if they release a player with 45 or more days remaining before Opening Day.

*most likely scenario

When, errr...if he declines

We get a sandwich pick in next year's draft. Mmmmmm, sandwiches...

Grudz will almost certainly decline the Royals' offer so he can try and get on board with a winning team. He all but said that in this Royals.com article.

Don't get me wrong, I love Mark Grudzielanek. He's, as stated many times, a fabulously professional player who keeps his mouth shut when it's not necessary to talk, who produces consistently on the field, and by all accounts works hard. I realize his numbers aren't the greatest, but to me there's value in knowing what you're getting from a player, especially if your team is otherwise chock-full of question marks.

Grudzielanek was a valuable addition to a club that needed stability somewhere. If he declines yesterday's offer, which I'm almost certain (I'd say about 95-98% sure) he will, I hope he can find what he's looking for, which is the chance to win. What player doesn't want that?

Farewell, Mark. I'll miss you, but I'm also looking forward to that sandwich...pick.


mike perry said...

Here's what I worry about in losing Grudz...and maybe this is the romantic baseball side of me thinking this. If he goes, who is the team leader? I think John Buck is going to be traded, and he would have been my first pick. DDJ seems like the quiet leader. Gil Meche doesn't seem to have the "take over the locker room when something needs to be said" pressence. Guillen? Lord help us. Maybe Coco can step in and be that guy, but everyone else seems pretty young or just doesn't fit the mold.
Grudz was the guy that stayed on the field and talked to Hillman last year in spring training after the infamous post-game lecture. I have a feeling Hillman was telling him that its part of his job to get on the guys when they lack hustle. Later in the year, Mark did just that when Billy Butler popped up and didn't run it out causing a double play. I think with a team this young, you need a guy that can jump on his teammates. If the manager does it everytime, then they'll feel like they're getting called out too often and start turning on him. Hopefully there is someone in the locker room willing to step up.

kevin said...

Except that I remember an article early last year about Grudz, where he stated that the Royals wanted him to step up and be a leader but that he struggles with that. So, I'm not sure how vocal or forceful of a leader he was.

However, I definitely agree and think he was a great "by example" leader. Which is also important.