If memory serves me right, Ginter was taken off the 40-man roster and designated for assignment (meaning he could have rejected the assignment, filed for free agency? or picked up by another team with his original contract? put on waivers?)...regardless, he accepted his assignment and is now in our organization, not on the 40-man roster, but in AAA.
If memory serves me right, again, it means that Keith, by accepting his assignment, also graciously accepts the $1.4 million he is guaranteed this year, even though he is not guaranteed a major league spot on our roster.
The question for me, and for all of those A's fan who care what $1.4 million dollars of our precious major league budget (or about 2.5% of our 2005 payroll, or roughly 2 Joe Blantons, 1 Nick Swisher, 1 Huston Street and .333 Dan Johnson and .333 Kirk Saarloos) will buy us for 2006.
Personally, I like Keith Ginter. He did suck last year, granted. But, he produced in the major leagues not more than 1.5 years ago. He hit 19 homers as a utility player in '04 and 14 homers as a relative rookie utility player in '03. His defense is not sparkling, but he is versatile: he's primarily a second baseman (where I've personally seen him make several surprising plays, and the routine plays routinely) and he can play an adequate 3rd base as well.
I realize we acquired this "under the radar" guy named Antonio Perez in the Bradley deal who has a nice on base percentage...but everywhere I've read I've heard that this guy is below average in the field, is fast, but gets caught stealing a lot, has been inconsistent as a hitter for nearly half a decade, has been shuffled from organization to organization and has not really caught on with anyone.
Personally, I'll take a guy who has averaged 12 1/3 home runs over the past 3 MAJOR LEAGUE seasons (as a backup infielder, including his disastrous 2005 campaign), who has played 2nd base AND 3rd base consistently on the major league level and has proven defensively average at both positions, over a guy who has spent the last 5 seasons bouncing from one organization to the next as a MINOR LEAGUER, hyped by 1 season of above average work (THIS one season THAT potential, while still not cracking it as a solid major leaguer.)