Pittsburgh, PA -- The Pittsburgh Pirates Monday agreed to terms with former American League Rookie of Year Ben Grieve on a minor-league contract with an invitation to spring training.
Grieve, who batted .260 with eight home runs and 35 RBI with Milwaukee and the Chicago Cubs last season, will vie for time in a Pittsburgh outfield that includes 2004 NL Rookie of the Year Jason Bay, Matt Lawton, who was acquired in an offseason trade with Cleveland, Craig Wilson, Rob Mackowiak and Tike Redman.
The 28-year-old Grieve won top rookie honors in 1998 with Oakland and averaged 24 home runs and 93 RBI during his first three major-league seasons. However, his offensive production has tailed off since leaving the Athletics after the 2000 campaign.
A career .269 hitter, Grieve has totaled 118 home runs and 491 RBI over eight years with Oakland, Tampa Bay, Milwaukee and the Cubs.
AS LBJ stated, he's not that terrible. His career .810 OPS is decent, as well as his career .367 OBP (.361 last year). Problem is that the power he showed in Oakland has pretty much disappeared and he plays awful, awful defense.
I suppose they do have to find some people to compete in ST, but I don't know about this one...Why make the outfield look any more crowded? Bay will play every day; Lawton should play at least 120 games. Now you possibly throw in Grieve to split time with Redman, Craig, and Mackoviak (who they just re-signed)?
Personally, I'd love to see Mackoviak out there every day - if he'd just learn to lay off inside curveballs...
I'm thinking Ben could be the Pirates '05 version of Matt Stairs. Grieve's fantasy impact - probably about as good as any other Pirate not named Perez, Bay, or Wilson.
The One, The Only, The Incomparable Mercer Boy.
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