When the announcement that Minnesota had acquired the contract of free agent Mark Grudzeilanek rolled across the ticker, the majority of Twins Territory groaned. Were they doomed to endure another Brett Boone/Phil Nevin/Tony Batista/Mike Lamb/Craig Monroe scenario?
While I certainly hope Grudzielanek ends up performing better than the five above veteran signees, there is much more hope for this most recent addition to the Twins family.
Why, you ask? Grudzielanek is 39 years old, much older than any of the aforementioned veterans at the time the Twins picked them up. He has spent the entire 2009 season to date watching from the proverbial sidelines, unable to convince any of the thirty teams to give him a chance.
For all we know, Grudzielanek could be fighting a typical 39-year old’s battle with simple stiffness and has trouble getting out of bed every morning. A week or two of hard workouts could cure him of that, but it might not.
Grudzielanek could turn out to be exactly like Boone was and the Twins may cut him before the month of August is out.
Should that happen, the Twins will have lost practically nothing in terms of monetary value. They will be able to move on and continue their pursuit of the playoffs. More importantly, however, is the fact that the Trade Deadline will have come and gone.
If July 31 passes without the Twins making a significant move they will be stuck with Alexi Casilla and Grudzielanek at second base, for better or worse.
Then again, though, this acquisition could be a precursor for Twins’ general manager Bill Smith. Minnesota may very well be close to landing Freddie Sanchez.
If that were the case the Twins would be in an extremely favorable situation: an All-Star starting at second base and a veteran with the ability to hit .300/.350/.400 waiting in the wings.
Sure, Grudzielanek isn’t going to be the best offensive player this side of Derek Jeter. No, he won’t have the defensive prowess of Aaron Hill. But he can come awfully close, can’t he?
The acquisition of Grudzielanek was a wise one on the Twins’ part, provided they aren’t finished making moves yet.