No really.. Big name.
Mark Grudzielanek was inked to a minor league deal today.
When will the Indians sign a big-name free agent?
-- Justin V., somewhere in Ohio
Maybe when Jarrod Saltalamacchia hits free agency. He has a pretty big name.
We will from now on refer to him as Grudz.
Grudz has experience at shortstop.. 626 games to be exact. So he can play the utility role that the Indians need.. The problem is he didn't play much last year coming off an injury. And he's old.
And... he's old.
The positives for me are that he's a veteran presence. You know if you've read before that I'm big on vet presences and that's exactly what Grudz would bring to the table.
So as we look at it now, the utility spot is coming down to three names so far. Jason Donald (Which is expected to be a name just thrown in, stuff would have to go wrong for that to happen), Grudz, and Luis Rodriguez.
Do not forget about Rodriguez. He can play everywhere and he's done it at the major league level before.
So we've got that now...
Non Roster Invites: Mike Gosling, Jason Grilli, Anthony Reyes, Saul Rivera, Brian Buscher, Mark Grudzielanek, Luis Rodriguez, Shelley Duncan, Austin Kearns
Speaking of.. We've got the latest inbox that addresses the chances of Duncan and Kearns, the two signed last week.
AC can see both breaking camp on the 25 man roster, which isn't out of the realm of possibilities in any way. We don't really know right now because we just don't know about LaPorta. Matt's progress with rehab will tell us a lot when it comes to these two and Marte. Brantley is probably more connected to Brantley's status as member of the roster.
Franklin Gutierrez is still a touchy subject with me and it's brought up to AC in the mailbag. Did the Tribe jump the gun? Just go back to my post a little over a year ago to know my opinion. Short Answer: yes.
I don't have much more for you today... Simply put there is nothing much.
I do have the information about the Annual Press Tour though.
I need to be critical of the team here this year.
In year's past, there were names on these team's that were damn good. You had guys like Hafner and Sizemore making the trips. This year.
I'm just not impressed. Sizemore and Hafner don't have to be there, but man they went weak. But the group of players lack pizazz. Jensen LEwis is probably the one guy that I'd legitimately be intrigued in listening to and seeing.
Doby Team will be in Akron, Toledo and Columbus and that consists mainly of Manager Manny Acta, Bob DiBiasio, Tom Hamilton, Michael Brantley and Jensen Lewis. Mark Shapiro will be in Columbus on the 28th.
Boudreau Team wil be in Youngstown, Sandusky, Lima (Afternoon) and Wooster (Evening) and that consists mainly of Jim Rosenhaus (Indians play by play for Radio/MLB TV), Aaron Laffey, David Huff, Chris Perez. Sandy Alomar will be in Sandusky on the 27th.
Harder Team will be in Ashtabula (Afternoon), Erie (Evening), Mansfield, and Elyria and consists mainly of Matt Underwood, Sandy Alomar and Tony Sipp.
I can't do any of the nearby locations this year, but it's always a treat for the fans. I'm just a little skeptical as to why there aren't some more of the core players on this tour. I know we have to account for a lot of our stars not exactly being American (Choo, Cabrera, Etc.), but not one sniff of Hafner or Sizemore. Where the hell is Justin Masterson? the quote machine that he is would be a great addition.
Laffey is a colorful personality as well as Jensen.. I'm sure guys like Kerry Wood are busy at this point, both he and Grady (and I'm sure there are additional reasons as to why Grady isn't on this tour) are probably held up in Arizona.
Hafner lives in Cleveland though.
It's just lacking some flare. Maybe it's because guys like Kelly Shoppach, Ryan Garko and Cliff Lee have been traded.
Finally a non-Indians note. I got in a wreck yesterday. Not fun. Ruined my whole day and hell it got the semester off to a bad start. Mostly because it was my fault and I got cited. It blows. Be careful out there, not just with the bad weather if you are in Northeast Ohio but just in general. Pay attention. Be aware of things.
If you see the curveball coming at you and it's going in the dirt.. Don't swing.. Seriously, learn from my accident and Jhonny Peralta.