Grudzielanek, like Guzman and Sherrill, should have been traded at the deadline this year. Gruddie is 38 years old and probably
will be retired by the time the Royals are at a championship level. I predict it will take around four years,
at least, for the Royals to be a really good team.
Grudzielanek will be 42 years old at that time. My point is, Grudzielanek will never help
the Royals win anything big, so it made all the sense in the world to trade
him to a team that could use a veteran infielder with a bunch of
experience. Do I think Mark is really
good enough to be a starting second baseman on a championship team? No.
He has little pop (3 HR this season) and little speed (2 SB), but he
does have a fairly good .356 OBP, and is great with the glove. I could have seen him being a nice pick up for
the Rays or White Sox.
White Sox only have Juan Uribe as a backup infielder. They desperately need an upgrade. His power is way down; he makes too many errors and has a dismal OBP of .285.
Rays also would have benefited from acquiring Grudzielanek. The person now serving as the primary backup at second base is
Willy Aybar, but he’s having a bad year at the plate, and is a natural third
baseman. The Rays have a lot of guys
that could fill the role, like Elliot Johnson and Ben Zobrist, but they have
done little with the bat and have no postseason experience. With the Rays competing for a playoff spot,
Grudzielanek could be a valuable infielder and a solid pinch hitter.
Royals can’t ask for too much in return for a 38 year old second baseman,
especially if the team that acquires him will use him as a back up. In any case, the Royals should ask for a
prospect or two. In would make sense
for the Royals to ask for a second base or pitching prospect in return.
Esteban German would likely fill the role
that Grudzielanek left behind, but with the season German is having, when
Alberto Callaspo comes off the DL, I would assume that he would be the starter
at second. The thought that Mike Aviles
could move over to second base to allow Tony Pena (pictured) to start at short is
bonkers. Pena has NO power, and has an
.OBP of .174. That’s horrible for a
pitcher, let alone a potential starting position player. Defense can only do so much. I wish I could say that defense and speed
mean just as much as pure hitting, but they don’t. Not even close.