Baseball for the Thinking Fan

Login | Register | Feedback

btf_logo
You are here > Home > Baseball Newsstand > Discussion
Baseball Primer Newsblog
— The Best News Links from the Baseball Newsstand

Friday, December 16, 2005

K.C. Star: Mientkiewicz, Grudzielanek, Elarton signing with Royals

Those names will never fit in a World Series program…

The Royals needed a facelift after their 106-loss season, and they’re getting it. In one fell swoop.First baseman Doug Mientkiewicz, second baseman Mark Grudzielanek and starting pitcher Scott Elarton have all agreed to sign with Kansas City.

The Royals are expected to hold an 11 a.m. news conference today announcing the moves, as well as the signing of backup catcher Paul Bako.

To make room for the four on the 40-man roster, the Royals will designate for assignment first baseman Ken Harvey _ their lone All-Star in 2004 _ outfielder Matt Diaz and relief pitchers Shawn Camp and Chris DeMaria.

Elarton’s contract is believed to be for two seasons, while Grudzielanek’s is for one with an option and Mientkiewicz and Bako’s straight one-year deals.

Repoz Posted: December 16, 2005 at 03:11 PM | 50 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: royals

Reader Comments and Retorts

Go to end of page

Statements posted here are those of our readers and do not represent the BaseballThinkFactory. Names are provided by the poster and are not verified. We ask that posters follow our submission policy. Please report any inappropriate comments.

   1. sunnyday2 Posted: December 16, 2005 at 03:25 PM (#1780043)
Minkey has certainly come down in the world. But frankly I'm not sure the Twins wouldn't have been better off singing Dougie than Batista--even if they had to play Minkey at 3B.

What's wrong with Ken Harvey BTW? Is Minkey really better than Kenny?
   2. Tanto Posted: December 16, 2005 at 03:30 PM (#1780059)
Yeah, that fixes everything.
   3. Clint Posted: December 16, 2005 at 03:35 PM (#1780067)
Hm. They sign Mientkiewicz (ZIPS OPS .766), resulting in both (a) DFAing Matt Diaz (ZIPS OPS .822) and (b) pushing Huber (ZIPS OPS .803) to AAA or the bench, thus screwing up not one, but two different ways. Smooth.
   4. ColonelTom Posted: December 16, 2005 at 03:38 PM (#1780072)
And that quickly, the job of Kansas City sports editor gets that much more difficult. Fire up the spell-checkers!

Grudzielanek's a solid player, but he blocks a bunch of Kansas City's more promising (relatively speaking, of course) minor leaguers, including recent acquisition Esteban German. If they can deal Grudz for prospects at the deadline, great. Otherwise this makes no sense at all.

In comes Mientkiewicz, out goes Matt Diaz. Someone (please let it be Philly) should grab Diaz off waivers as a lefty-mashing 1B/OF. He's always had a promising bat, and I have no idea why he hasn't had more of a chance in the majors. He absolutely mauled AAA pitchers in Omaha, and didn't embarrass himself in his brief KC tenure last year. I'm almost certain he'd outhit Minky easily over a full season.

Giving credit where credit is due, Elarton's a nice pickup for KC. I wouldn't expect a return to his rookie-year form, but he can probably give them 170 league-average innings, which takes some strain off the bullpen.
   5. 33Boots Posted: December 16, 2005 at 03:47 PM (#1780094)
League average innings is a stretch for Elarton, but even with an 85 ERA+ season, he's likely to step in as the Royals second best starting pitcher.
   6. Rally Posted: December 16, 2005 at 03:51 PM (#1780102)
Otherwise this makes no sense at all.

What on earth could the Royals do that would make sense then?

They can't sign the top free agents, either they don't have the money or nobody wants to play in KC anyway.

Infield defense might have been the biggest problem with KC last year. Grudz and Mink solve half of that. Now there's a chance Zach Greinke might actually develop.

KC isn't going to win no matter what they do in 2006. The best they can do is hope they don't get their A$$ kicked quite as hard as the last 2 years. This helps.
   7. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: December 16, 2005 at 03:54 PM (#1780110)
Hey, cheap "known names" to put fannies in the seats!

If only they hadn't missed out on Carl Everett.
   8. Zach Posted: December 16, 2005 at 03:54 PM (#1780111)
First base seems like an odd priority, since that's the one spot the Royals really have a pileup at. I wonder if this puts Sweeney on the trade market?

Grudzielanek looks like a complementary player to German. Similar production, but a totally different skill set. I'd love for German to put up a high OBP at the leadoff position, and make Grudz the utility infielder.

Elarton -- Innings muncher. Good signing. The Royals' rotation has been a ravenous beast that eats prospects. Keep 'em in the minors until they can beat somebody out for the spot.
   9. Der Komminsk-sar Posted: December 16, 2005 at 04:03 PM (#1780129)
Harvey's out for a good chunk of '05 - Rotoworld speculated yesterday that he would be non-tendered.

Diaz - I certainly agree that he'd be a good platoon guy for a team and (I know I'm in the minority here) he's not bad defensively in the outfield corners - solid arm, average range.
How many other "stathead" faves are there that don't draw walks?

I'm okay with the Grudz signing, not big on Bako or Elarton. As for Minky ... I'd be okay with it if they didn't already have a bunch of first basemen. As it is, this is a waste of time and resources.
   10. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 16, 2005 at 04:04 PM (#1780131)
These aren't terrible deals, they also won't improve the ballclub appreciably.

Elarton is a nice innings eater - who posted a 5.90 ERA in 2004. So we'll see on him. Its a two year deal so this could be a terrible deal in a year. But I'll give him the benefit of the doubt.

Grudzielanek is a solid, if unspectacular player. I don't understand why they want to throw Gotay under the bus, but if this means Gotay spends a year in AAA getting some seasoning, that's fine, it will delay his FA service time a bit as he wasn't completely ready last year, and he's still young. German should probably be a backup or AAA filler, I wasn't all that excited about him starting. Donnie Murphy doesn't look like he'll ever be anything more than a utility infielder, and Andres Blanco looks like another Rafael Belliard. So I don't think they're blocking anyone who is MLB ready. They gave Mark a one year deal with an option, so if none of these guys pan out in 2007, they can have Grudz for another year.

Minky - I don't get this signing. They must think Huber's defense is god awful. If you could live with the fielding of Ken Harvey and Mike Sweeney, why can't you live with Justin Huber? Sweeney will apparently be DH, or will be traded (I'm hoping for the latter) which moves Stairs into a corner OF role, Huber to Omaha, and Harvey DFAed (Good!). So the big plus on this move is getting Harvey off the 40 man roster, but the downside is the Justin Huber era is delayed for some odd reason.

Bako - meh.

Yea, possibly losing Diaz sucks, but his defense is absolutely brutal. I mean, he looks like he's never seen an outfielder's glove before. It would be nice if we could keep his stick, but I wouldn't be upset if we lost him. We already have a left handed version of him anyway - his name is Aaron Guiel. And Allard seems to do pretty well finding guys like Diaz (Ibanez, Guiel, Brown) - he just doesn't always do well finding playing time at the MLB level for them.

Supposedly they're still pursing an OF, but with the Jacque Jones rejection, I don't know who that would be.
   11. Old Matt Posted: December 16, 2005 at 04:07 PM (#1780134)
So we lost out on Grudz to the Royals?

That doesn't make sense.
   12. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: December 16, 2005 at 04:09 PM (#1780141)
Diaz - I certainly agree that he'd be a good platoon guy for a team and (I know I'm in the minority here) he's not bad defensively in the outfield corners - solid arm, average range.
How many other "stathead" faves are there that don't draw walks?


He sounds like he'd be a real nice pickup for the Cubs. Guy who can backup the OF and 1B and hit some off the bench.

They didn't have anyone like that last year (I know they've added Mabry this year, but there's no reason the team has to fill its bench with utility infielders).
   13. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 16, 2005 at 04:09 PM (#1780142)
I think that getting rid of Diaz and DeMaria is a mistake. Diaz, while defensively challenged, brings some value with his bat, and DeMaria, while no longer a spring chicken, was lights-out at High Desert last year.
   14. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 16, 2005 at 04:11 PM (#1780146)
"They didn't have anyone like that last year..."

What about Grieve? There's a difference between not having and not using.
   15. Old Matt Posted: December 16, 2005 at 04:13 PM (#1780150)
Supposedly they're still pursing an OF, but with the Jacque Jones rejection, I don't know who that would be.

Gerald Williams perhaps?
   16. Craig in MN Posted: December 16, 2005 at 04:20 PM (#1780168)
Any word on salaries? If Grudzielanek is making less than Batista, I might have to switch allegiences.
   17. Hendry's Wad of Cash (UCCF) Posted: December 16, 2005 at 04:29 PM (#1780187)
What about Grieve? There's a difference between not having and not using.

True. Is Grieve still around? It was senseless to let him sit at AAA all last season, but obviously they don't consider him right for the job (or he would have been up last year).
   18. The Balls of Summer Posted: December 16, 2005 at 05:02 PM (#1780250)
So we lost out on Grudz to the Royals?

That doesn't make sense.


Yeah, it is hard to believe that the Mets and the Cards still don't have any solutions to their 2nd base problems, but let Grudz get away to the Royals.

I guess that's the difference between Mets/Yankees fans and the rest of us. I expect my team to lose in a free agent war. They expect to win and are dumbstruck when they lose.
   19. Jimmy P Posted: December 16, 2005 at 05:16 PM (#1780270)
The Royals - 75 wins, here we come!
   20. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 16, 2005 at 05:17 PM (#1780273)
Geez, I'd be thrilled if they won 75. This still looks like a 95 loss team to me.
   21. I Love LA (OFF) Posted: December 16, 2005 at 05:21 PM (#1780276)
That's a really recent development with the Mets. Before Minaya, the Mets didn't win thta many free agent wars.

And I'm not sure they lost this one. The Mets didn't want to get a second-baseman if Matsui was still on the roster, especially considering that they have two second-base prospects who might be ready to take over if he struggles. This probably means second-base is his to lose, and that Anderson Hernandez and Keppinger will have to wait their turn.
   22. salvomania Posted: December 16, 2005 at 05:38 PM (#1780296)
...the Cards still don't have any solutions to their 2nd base problems...

Send me your e-mail, and I'll take a bet that Hec Luna, if he starts at 2b, will outperfrom Grudz by at least 30 OPS points and will be no worse than average with the glove. All for 1/10th (or whatever) of the cost of Grudz...
   23. 33Boots Posted: December 16, 2005 at 05:41 PM (#1780301)
Well, the Twins or Cards or Mets could solve their 2nd base problem with a call to Tony Graffanino. He's better than Grudz anyway. One of the most underrated players in baseball and getting slept on right now. Not many two baggers who can deliver 100 ops+ and above average defense. Not many dirt cheap ones especially.
   24. North Side Chicago Expatriate Giants Fan Posted: December 16, 2005 at 05:45 PM (#1780308)
These are exactly the kinds of deals the Royals need to make, given, of course, that they aren't blocking young players that are actually ready. The Royals have been rushing their youngsters up as saviors for years with no success. They should let the guys develop while they sign every middling veteran they can to a short deal, hoping some of them catch fire for a half season and can be flipped for prospects (pref. pitching) from a desperate contender. No one may want these guys now, but when someone on a contender falls off a cliff or gets injured, KC can be like super AAA for a lot of teams.

Note: this doesn't apply to Paul Bako.
Note: this doesn't work when the prospect they acquire is Neifi.
   25. MM1f Posted: December 16, 2005 at 05:52 PM (#1780320)
"Diaz - I certainly agree that he'd be a good platoon guy for a team and (I know I'm in the minority here) he's not bad defensively in the outfield corners - solid arm, average range. "

I actually agree with you about his D, and i've seen him play A TON. Hes not smooth out there by any stretch of the imagination but he's more athletic than he gets credit for, isn't slow at all and, like you said, can throw.

Also in addition to his good hitting, he steals a few bases at a solid rate-just another little nifty plus.

I'm a HUGE fan of his and was realy hoping KC would be the break he needed. Who do the ROckies have in the corners? Holliday and ?...is Hawpe still pretending hes an OF? If anyone deserves to play in Coors its Diaz after all these bad break hes gotten.
   26. salvomania Posted: December 16, 2005 at 05:56 PM (#1780332)
...Not many two baggers who can deliver 100 ops+ and above average defense.

Including Graffanino himself in 2002 and 2004.
   27. The Buddy Biancalana Hit Counter Posted: December 16, 2005 at 05:59 PM (#1780334)
I didn't get to see the Royals much last year, but from both my limited observation and reports, it seemed that the outfield defense was a bigger problem (i.e. even worse) than the infield defense last year.

It seems that Mientkiewicz would both preclude the team from getting Huber's bat in the lineup and push Stairs back into the outfield.

The Grudzielanek signing, I assume, will allow Blanco to remain a shortstop which is good as that's the only position at which he could have any positive value.
   28. White Sox Fan Posted: December 16, 2005 at 06:05 PM (#1780350)
When he was on the White Sox, Graff was one of my favorite players. Now, though, when I read "Graffanino," all I can think of is, "OH NO!"
   29. 1k5v3L Posted: December 16, 2005 at 06:07 PM (#1780354)
elarton to kc? that ruins bavasi's entire offseason.
   30. I Love LA (OFF) Posted: December 16, 2005 at 06:11 PM (#1780360)
Huber is overrrated anyway. Tell you what, why don't you send him and MacDougal our way for former first pick in the draft and local hero, Kris Benson? Think of a Benson-Redman 1-2 punch. Nice, ain't it? Think of a sold-out Kauffman Stadium chanting your name and rooting on the Miracle Royals. Think of bringing another title to Kansas City...
   31. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 16, 2005 at 06:11 PM (#1780361)
Allard on the radio today:

Grudz gets one year (I think I heard at $3 million) with an option for 2007 that vests with 500 PAs.

Still talking to a corner outfielder (Jacque Jones?)

Affeldt will challenge for the rotation, but could move to the pen (I'm guessing he's dealt by spring)

Howell will pitch at AAA

Huber will hit at AAA and work on fielding

Gotay and Blanco will be the DP combo at AAA
   32. More Dewey is Always Good Posted: December 16, 2005 at 06:16 PM (#1780369)
When he was on the White Sox, Graff was one of my favorite players. Now, though, when I read "Graffanino," all I can think of is, "OH NO!"

I had completely forgotten about that play, to be honest. I remember Iguchi's homer a lot more than I remember Graffanino's error.
   33. Eric Bartman Posted: December 16, 2005 at 06:28 PM (#1780403)
There is some logic to these moves.
1) improved defense helps develop young pitching
2) key position prospects develop in minors
3) veteran pitchers take some stress off of young bullpen
4) no long term contracts to block prospects
5) provides possibilities for deadline deals
Can't come up with a rationale for Bako though.
   34. 33Boots Posted: December 16, 2005 at 06:53 PM (#1780463)

Including Graffanino himself in 2002 and 2004.


Yes, the 98 in 2002 clearly doesn't count.
   35. Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Griffin (Vlad) Posted: December 16, 2005 at 06:54 PM (#1780465)
"Can't come up with a rationale for Bako though."

Odd names are distracting.
   36. I Love LA (OFF) Posted: December 16, 2005 at 06:55 PM (#1780469)
God, it must really suck to be a Royals' fan.
   37. salvomania Posted: December 16, 2005 at 07:04 PM (#1780486)
Yes, the 98 in 2002 clearly doesn't count.

Well, the 100 OPS isn't exactly a given with seasons like 2004 (79) and 2000 (81) mixed in with last year's 111, which, considering his career OPS+ of 91, seems like the aberrant number....
   38. Allard "I've left the cupboard" Baird (winzey) Posted: December 16, 2005 at 07:40 PM (#1780569)
Allard on the radio today:

Grudz gets one year (I think I heard at $3 million) with an option for 2007 that vests with 500 PAs.

Still talking to a corner outfielder (Jacque Jones?)

Affeldt will challenge for the rotation, but could move to the pen (I'm guessing he's dealt by spring)

Howell will pitch at AAA

Huber will hit at AAA and work on fielding

Gotay and Blanco will be the DP combo at AAA


^ I like. I like very much.

No need to rush Huber. Minky will be good 1B for a year, allowing Sweeney to DH full-time. Grudz is fine, and be flipped for a prospect this time next year. Elarton will eat innings, similar to what Suppan did for several years. Bako will...umm...er...be....well, Bako.

Allard also said on the radio that an un-named free agent OFer called him last night and asked "so when are you going to announce these signings?"

My bet is on a Jacque Jones dealwithin the next 48 hours.
   39. 33Boots Posted: December 16, 2005 at 07:47 PM (#1780583)
4 of the last 5 seasons 98 or above. The 79 is what looks aberrant to me.
   40. Zonk Can Sell Culture Posted: December 16, 2005 at 08:00 PM (#1780605)
5) provides possibilities for deadline deals

That's the best rationale I can find. I understand items 1 through 4 - I just question the level to which they "help" the Royals.

However - I think Grudz will be a relatively warm deadline commodity -- especially with so many supposed contenders (Cards, Mets, Padres, etc) week at 2B.

Minky might, too, for a team short at 1B/looking for a spare part for the bench.

Elarton's long since been slagged to shreds, though.

None of them are going to fetch a top flight prospect by themselves, but they could add some organizational depth with mid-ceiling prospects.

Beyond that, sheesh... the Royals desperately need a new owner, a new front office, a new everything.
   41. DCW3 Posted: December 16, 2005 at 08:27 PM (#1780665)
Yeah, it is hard to believe that the Mets and the Cards still don't have any solutions to their 2nd base problems, but let Grudz get away to the Royals.

MGL has said a couple times that Grudzielanek wasn't let go for baseball reasons or because he was too expensive. Take that whatever way you want.
   42. RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: December 16, 2005 at 08:38 PM (#1780682)
The numbers:

Elarton 2 years/$8 million
Grudz 1 year/$4 million - $3 million option if 500 PA are reached
Minky 1 year/$1.85 million with $700k in incentives
Bako 1 year/$700k
   43. Jim Wisinski Posted: December 16, 2005 at 09:01 PM (#1780730)
Someone (please let it be Philly) should grab Diaz off waivers as a lefty-mashing 1B/OF. He's always had a promising bat, and I have no idea why he hasn't had more of a chance in the majors.

The GMs making the decision about whether or not he'd be up were Chuck Lamar and Allard Baird. The managers making the decision about him getting playing time when he was up were Lou Piniella, Tony Pena, and Buddy Bell.

I think that explains why.
   44. Vrhovnik Posted: December 17, 2005 at 03:27 AM (#1781248)
Can't come up with a rationale for Bako though.
Maybe it's to get Peter Gabriel to write another song.
   45. 1k5v3L Posted: December 17, 2005 at 04:02 AM (#1781263)
God, it must really suck to be a Royals' fan.

being a mets fan is better?
   46. Darren Posted: December 17, 2005 at 04:55 AM (#1781312)
Diaz would make a good platoon partner for Nixon in Boston, depending on his defensive prowess.
   47. Dr. Vaux Posted: December 17, 2005 at 05:01 AM (#1781320)
Since this is today's AL Central thread...

I've run the numbers for the division:

CLE 87-75
MIN 86-76
CHI 84-78

I must say, I'm somewhat surprised. I thought Cleveland would be at more like 90, Chicago would be in the high 80s, and Minnesota in the low 80s. Looks like anybody's division, with the White Sox still set to get a bat for Garland.
   48. Darren Posted: December 17, 2005 at 05:05 AM (#1781324)
I'm shocked by that Cleveland number--I guess Sizemore, Peralta, and the bullpen come back to earth. What are you using to run the numbers?
   49. Dr. Vaux Posted: December 17, 2005 at 05:17 AM (#1781356)
I'm using the Symborski projections for the rate stats, pro-rating them by my estimation of projected playing-time for each player, and using them to calculate RC for the hitters and RA for the pitchers [using ER(1.07) for RA]. I then take those numbers and calculate pythagorean W-L, which is what these records are. I regress the numbers for some pitchers more than Dan does; for example, he's got Paul Byrd with a 3.90 ERA, I'm using a 4.20.

Last year, I correctly picked all of the division winners this way except in the NL East and AL Central, with the White Sox being only 1 projected win behind the Twins and the Braves only 2 projected wins behind the Phillies.
   50. Dr. Vaux Posted: December 17, 2005 at 05:20 AM (#1781368)
In the Indians' case, it's mostly the bullpen regressing (a bit) and me assuming an ERA of 5.00 for 170 innings of fifth-starter. Also, Aaron Boone is still apparently the 3b; if they put a player there who was even average, they'd probably add 3-4 wins to the projection.

You must be Registered and Logged In to post comments.

 

 

<< Back to main

BBTF Partner

Dynasty League Baseball

Support BBTF

donate

Thanks to
Sheer Tim Foli
for his generous support.

You must be logged in to view your Bookmarks.

Hot Topics

NewsblogThe Caray legacy revisited, 30 years later
(30 - 1:58am, May 15)
Last: GregD

NewsblogOMNICHATTER's so ugly, it's required to wear masks — Halloween masks, for May 14, 2021
(7 - 1:06am, May 15)
Last: vortex of dissipation

NewsblogPadres players Fernando Tatis Jr., Wil Myers test positive for COVID-19, at least 3 other players out for contact tracing
(43 - 1:05am, May 15)
Last: Lowry Seasoning Salt

NewsblogNBA 2020 Season kick-off thread
(3185 - 11:28pm, May 14)
Last: CFBF's Results are Certified

NewsblogEmpty Stadium Sports Will Be Really Weird
(13074 - 11:26pm, May 14)
Last: Hank Gillette

NewsblogMayor says MLB has discussed A’s relocation to Las Vegas since 2019
(7 - 10:54pm, May 14)
Last: Tulo's Fishy Mullet (mrams)

NewsblogMLB players union seeking $500 million in grievance against league
(1 - 8:56pm, May 14)
Last: "bothsidesism" word 57i66135

NewsblogMax Scherzer and the Coming Wave of 3,000-Strikeout Pitchers
(33 - 7:27pm, May 14)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogMilwaukee Brewers ace Corbin Burnes sets record for strikeouts without a walk to start season
(8 - 7:07pm, May 14)
Last: cardsfanboy

NewsblogWith Bob Cousy, Pedro Martinez And More In Attendance, Worcester Red Sox Open Polar Park
(20 - 6:52pm, May 14)
Last: Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc

NewsblogESPN, MLB announce seven-year extension running through 2028
(1 - 6:34pm, May 14)
Last: Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc

NewsblogThese Aren’t the Hits MLB Wanted
(25 - 6:14pm, May 14)
Last: bunyon

NewsblogNew York Yankees 3B coach Phil Nevin, 1B coach Reggie Willits positive for COVID-19
(36 - 4:56pm, May 14)
Last: Hank Gillette

Sox TherapyTap the Brakes
(13 - 4:51pm, May 14)
Last: Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer

NewsblogOT - Soccer Thread - Spring is in the Air
(437 - 4:49pm, May 14)
Last: AuntBea odeurs de parfum de distance sociale

Page rendered in 0.4366 seconds
48 querie(s) executed