Grudzielanek trying to make it with Tribe
Second baseman didn't play in the Major Leagues in 2009
GOODYEAR, Ariz. -- The game of baseball didn't necessarily pass Mark Grudzielanek by, but its business side did.In the winter after the '08 season, Grudzielanek was a 14-year Major League veteran coming off six straight seasons in which he was a starter at second base and batted at or around .300. Sure, a sprained right ankle and a torn deltoid ligament in his shoulder had prevented Grudzielanek from playing the last two months of the previous season with the Royals. But he still expected to attract interest on the open market. So when the first two offers for his services came in December and they didn't promise him the playing time and/or the dollars he was looking for, Grudzielanek passed. Alas, 28 other teams passed on him. The '09 season started, and Grudzielanek was still unemployed. "I had been in a position where I've been the man and starting since my second year in the league," he said. "It was strange to get a couple offers in December and then nothing up to [the] '09 [season]. I looked at it like it was a message for me to get my stuff together, get healthy and enjoy my time at home with my two boys." There was a slight detour during the downtime, as the Twins signed Grudzielanek to a Minor League deal at midseason and told him to get ready. They said they were going to need him in the big leagues to augment their infield in about three weeks. Those three weeks passed, and the Twins told Grudzielanek, who appeared in 11 Minor League games, thanks, but no thanks. They were sticking with the guys they had. "It's in the past, and I really don't want to get into it," Grudzielanek said. "I don't want to start dropping bombs or getting mad at anybody. I'm in a new situation with a positive outlook, and that's all that matters."
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Anthony Castrovince is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.