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Nationals Sign Kevin Gryboski

[February 20th] - There are signings, and then there are "signings."

This one is definitely a "signing."

The Nationals signed former Braves' reliever Kevin Gryboski to a minor league contract with a invitation to the team's major league camp.

From 2002-2004, the 32 year old right-hander averaged 50 innings and 61 games per year with a solid 3.39 ERA for the Braves. Last season, the pitched 21 innings with Atlanta with a 2.95 ERA before being traded to the Rangers for Matt Larenzo, where he amassed an ERA above 11.00 in 10 innings. He was released at the end of the season.

I don't get it. For all but ten innings in a four year career, Gryboski was a rock in the Braves' bullpen, pitching 60 innings per year and keeping things safe for Atlanta after their starter's tired and before John Smoltz entered the 9th inning. Then, after a couple of bad outings with Texas, he's released and goes unsigned during the off season, finally signing with a team whose only real strength is it's bullpen.

If he's truly "done," then why sign him? And if he isn't, why did he sign with Washington? Gryboski is a ground-ball pitcher, making him ideal for small parks where balls tend to fly out easily and often. Yet, not one of those teams playing in band-boxes was willing to sign him to a minor league contract, and is forced to sign with Washington, whose need for a ground-ball pitcher is diminished by the expansive outfield at RFK.

These, and other important questions will be answered in Vierra this spring. For now, though, I haven't a clue as to what Jim Bowden is up to.

Depth signing; I hope he likes New Orleans.

In fact, given his career 103/99 BB/K ratio in 177 IP, Kevin better bring a body guard with him if Frank ever manages him. ;-)
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