Mark Grudzielanek Rumors

Mark Grudzielanek Decides To Retire

Veteran infielder Mark Grudzielanek has decided to retire, reports Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com.  The 40-year-old appeared in 30 games with Cleveland last season before being released in June. 

An 11th-round draft pick of the Expos in 1991, Grudzielanek collected 2040 hits and posted a .289/.332/.393 line in 15 seasons with the Expos, Dodgers, Cubs, Cardinals, Royals and Indians.  He had a reputation as a solid defender, particularly at second base; Fangraphs shows Grudzielanek with a career +7.2 UZR/150 rating at second since 2002 and Grudzielanek won a Gold Glove at the position in 2006.

Grudzielanek was an NL All-Star in 1996 and, while he never reached the World Series, made it to the NLCS with the Cubs in 2003 and with the Cards in 2005.  According to Baseball Reference, Grudzielanek earned roughly $36.8MM in his career.


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Indians Release Grudzielanek, Wright

The Indians released Mark Grudzielanek and Jamey Wright, according to ESPN.com’s Buster Olney (via Twitter). Both Grudzielanek and Wright were designated for assignment within the last week, when the Indians wanted to make room for Anderson Hernandez and Frank Herrmann.

Grudzielanek, 40 this month, signed a minor league deal over the winter. The second baseman was hitting .314/.368/.314 on May 16th, but has since slowed posted just a .456 OPS. At this point in his career, Grudzielanek has no power; none of his 30 hits this year have gone for extra bases.

Wright has a 5.48 ERA in 21.1 innings this year. The 35-year-old has allowed 25 hits and as many walks (nine) as strikeouts so far in 2010. Wright and Grudzielanek now appear on our list of 2010 free agents.


Indians Designate Grudzielanek For Assignment

The Indians designated second baseman Mark Grudzielanek for assignment, reports MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince.  Grudzielanek, 40 in a few weeks, hit .273/.328/.273 in 119 plate appearances for the Tribe before suffering a hamstring injury Sunday.  The Indians called up Anderson Hernandez to take his place.  Hernandez was claimed off waivers from the Mets in March.

The Indians signed Grudzielanek to a minor league deal in mid-January; he'd struggled to find work in '09.  He joins players such as Adam Everett and Mike Lamb in DFA limbo.



Indians Not Engaged In Any Trade Talks

Despite owning the second worst record (19-31) and run differential (-64) in the American League, Indians' GM Mark Shapiro is under no orders from CEO Paul Dolan to make trades and cut payroll like he has during the last two seasons, according to The Cleveland Plain Dealer's Paul Hoynes

"We are not actively engaged in talks about anyone right now," said Shapiro. "The season's natural cycle will dictate when we consider some alternatives. We're not mandated to make any trades for monetary reasons.

"We'll look at each trade (possibility) as an opportunity to acquire talent and it's budgetary impact. But the acquisition of talent will be the primary driver."

Shapiro indicated that he could explore trades involving "anyone in the last year of their contracts," so that includes Russell Branyan, Austin Kearns, Mark Grudzielanek, Jhonny Peralta, Mike RedmondJake Westbrook, and Jamey Wright. Even if they move Westbrook, the Indians feel they may have a chance to re-sign him after the season as a free agent.

Top prospect Carlos Santana is expected to be up at some point this season, but Shapiro did make sure to mention that his defense needs to improve, particularly his throwing. They plan on taking advantage of every day possible in the minors to help him develop, which shows that the team is looking for production on both sides of the ball, not just at the plate.

The Indians figure to be a prominent player at the trade deadline this year given their inventory, with Westbrook representing to be their most desirable chip. Even though he's still owed about $7.6MM this season, his 4.36 ERA in 11 starts might be a big enough upgrade to justify the cost for some teams. 


Indians Notes: Brantley, Grudzielanek, Peralta

MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince has a terrific Inbox column that addresses a number of Cleveland issues raised by fans, present and future.

Among the goodness:

  • Castrovince notes that it will be unlikely the Indians call up Michael Brantley for the majority of the season. The less that Brantley plays in 2010, the less likely he is to qualify for arbitration after the 2012 season. Less time in 2010 should stretch non-arb years to 2013.
  • Mark Grudzielanek has really impressed Castrovince, and he believes the 39-year-old has a very good chance of making the roster.
  • Though he's often mentioned as a trade candidate, Castrovince isn't at all certain Jhonny Peralta will be traded this summer. Also uncertain: if Cleveland will pick up Peralta's $7MM option after the season.

The whole piece is worth a read.


Odds & Ends: Grudzielanek, Royals, Fielder, Calero

Links for Sunday….

  • In his latest mailbag, MLB.com's Jim Street writes that he could see Chad Cordero hooking on with a major league club if he continues to stay healthy and perform well in Spring Training.  Cordero is in camp with the Mariners and competing for a job, but is unlikely to make the team as the bullpen is already stocked with quality right-handers.
  • Mark Grudzielanek is eager to hook on with the Indians, writes Anthony Castrovince of MLB.com.  The 39-year-old second baseman, who was absent from the majors in 2009, says he has his eye on the starting job.
  • MLB.com's Dick Kaegel reports that Royals shortstop prospect Jeff Bianchi will miss the 2010 season with elbow surgery. Danny Duffy, a left-handed pitcher and the organization's #8 prospect according to Baseball America, will be shut down as well for the time being due to elbow stiffness.
  • Michael Hunt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel talks to Brewers GM Doug Melvin about Prince Fielder's future. Melvin reiterates that the team hopes to keep Fielder around for many years, and revisits an instance during his stint as the Rangers' GM when he had to trade a heavy hitter.
  • Questions about Kiko Calero's health might have kept him on the market longer than expected this winter, but Adam Rubin of the New York Daily News says that the righty has been throwing off a mound and looks okay for now. "Conditioning-wise he's pretty good," pitching coach Dan Warthen said. "He just hasn't seen hitters."
  • Newly-acquired Melvin Mora could end up playing nearly every position on the diamond for the Rockies this year, writes Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post.
  • WEEI's Alex Speier reports that Brian Shouse's minor league contract will earn him $800K if he makes the Red Sox' major league roster.

Indians Sign Mark Grudzielanek

The Indians signed Mark Grudzielanek to a minor league deal, reports MLB.com's Anthony Castrovince.  Grudzielanek, 39, hit .299/.345/.399 for the Royals in '08.  That season ended early with an August ankle injury.  The Royals surprisingly offered Grudzielanek arbitration after the season, and he declined, but they did not get a draft pick because he didn't sign until July.  That minor league deal with the Twins was short-lived.


Twins Release Mark Grudzielanek

The Twins released Mark Grudzielanek just weeks after signing the veteran middle infielder to a minor league deal, according to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Apparently Grudzielanek took the news like a pro.


Twins To Sign Mark Grudzielanek

The Twins agreed to terms with Mark Grudzielanek on a minor league deal, according to Joe Christensen of the Minneapolis Star Tribune. Grudzielanek, who just turned 39, will provide the Twins with middle infield depth. The 14-year veteran hit .299 last year in 86 games with the Royals, while playing above-average defense at second. He'll report to the Twins' Gulf Coast League affiliate.

The signing was first reported by SethSpeaks.net.

Melvin On Second Base Situation

Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel talked to Brewers GM Doug Melvin about the team's second base situation.  Rickie Weeks is out for the season with wrist surgery, but Melvin is not interested in the three free agent second basemen: Ray Durham, Mark Grudzielanek, and Damion Easley.  Durham's agent called Melvin, saying his client would need a while to get ready.  Melvin decided not to pursue Durham, who played for the Brewers last year.  Easley's agent also reached out to no avail, according to MLB.com's Adam McCalvy.

There have been no trade talks, either.  Instead, the Brewers will mix and match with internal options at second base and go back to Weeks next year.