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The Return of Graffy?

Bob Dutton reports today that the Royals are "poised" to reacquire super-utility man Tony Graffanino from the Red Sox. Dutton writes,

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- The Royals appear poised to reacquire infielder Tony Graffanino from the Boston Red Sox. The move hinges on whether the Red Sox can trade Graffanino before today's deadline for guaranteeing the entire value of his $2.05 million contract, and whether the Royals are convinced he will be content to play in a utility role.

A decision figures to come today, because the Red Sox are obligated to pay only one-fourth of Graffanino's salary -- $512,500 -- if he is released before the deadline to guarantee the full amount.

For the Red Sox to release Graffanino, he must first clear waivers -- a procedure that allows other teams to acquire him by assuming the contract's full value. The Royals have first priority in placing a claim by virtue of finishing last season with baseball's worst record.

The Royals appear willing to assume Graffanino's contract unless he balks at serving as a backup. The Royals signed Mark Grudzielanek in the offseason to be their starting second baseman.

Like so much else thats happened this spring, its hard to respond to a move like this. Or, should I say, a possible move like this. I guess, on one hand its a decent hypothetical pickup, although Graffy's dangerously close to completing that all too common underrated-to-overrated cycle. And, as we must always ask with this team, what does a 90-100 loss team with no hope of even third place in the division need an aging backup second baseman for? Just to make the pickup of Grudz seem even more superfluous?

Then again, he'll probably make decent trade bait at midseason, although we must stress the more negative implications of decent there. As in, "she's a decent girlfriend" as opposed to "it was decent to win the lottery". And I thought the plan was to shop Grudz at midseason anyway?


Still, we'll welcome back Tony with open arms, depending on what we have to spend/give up to get him.

Update [2006-3-28 15:42:36 by royalsreview]: Well, its official, Graffy's been claimed, Ambres DFA'ed (one of the best verbs ever).

The Royals claimed Graffanino on waivers from the Boston Red Sox on Tuesday and he fits right into the picture in a backup role.

Also picked up in a waiver claim was right-handed pitcher Steve Andrade from the San Diego Padres.

Designated for assignment was outfielder Chip Ambres. There is a 10-day period in which he can be placed on waivers and claimed, traded, released, or sent to the Minor Leagues.

"We'll explore the value for him," general manager Allard Baird said.

Somewhat odd to see a perpetually rebuilding team making moves like this, but its hard not to like Graffy or to doubt Ambres. Although he does have that first name of Chip working for him. Honestly, wasn't Ambres supposed to be the next Emil Brown/Raul Ibanez type? Did I miss something?

The beat goes on. It looks like Allard's got a few more moves in him before the season starts... Might a Greinke move be in the works?