Griffey Saga Coming To An End….In Seattle

Written by Jonathan on February 18, 2009 – 8:58 pm

The saga of where Ken Griffey Jr. is going to end up for the 2009 season has taken its latest turn and it appears that Griffey will now be heading back to Seattle where he began his career.  Griffey has been dwelling on the decision between the Braves and Mariners for a couple of days.  Atlanta provided some benefits that would allow him to be close to family and play for Bobby Cox, but Griffey has felt some loyalty and attraction to the fans  and Mariners organization that made the decision a difficult one.  Sources report that Griffey’s contract with the Mariners will be for $2 million base with up to $4 million in other incentives.

The story behind where Griffey would end up has taken many turns over the past couple of days.  As we reported yesterday, it appeared that everything was in place to see Griffey here in Atlanta for the  upcoming season.  After that news broke however, he contacted to inform them that he had not yet made a final decision on where he would be playing.  From that point on, everything started to shift back in the direction of playing in Seattle.  I don’t think that that really had much bearing on the decision, just goes to show that things aren’t final until all is said and done, as we’ve learned  multiple times this offseason.

As we know, nothing is definite until the paper is signed and the money is on the table, but all signs point that the deal is done for Griffey to head back to the Mariners.  What do we do at this point?  I don’t think this is going to break us or change much on our season outlook, but it puts a few more unknowns back in the outfield.  What’s best for the Braves to do now?  Stick young talent in the outfield or try to make a different acquisition?  I know we were excited about the prospect of having Griffey here in Atlanta, but it’s time to move on.

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Posted in Roster Moves, Speculation | 13 Comments »

Griffey: No Decision Made

Written by Colin on February 17, 2009 – 11:56 am

Griffey has apparently mentioned to some friends that he’s leaning towards the Braves, but no official word has come out yet. The AJC’s Dave O’Brien says that Griffey’s camp promised the Mariners they’d speak with the team before announcing their deal and are saying what they need to until the ink is dry and Griffey can officially announce he’s chosen the Braves. He has no doubt that Jr. will end up in Atlanta.

Previous update: Griffey is now saying that he hasn’t chosen the Braves, according to a story on the Mariners website. Hopefully this doesn’t mean the M’s get him. Check back for updates…

Earlier today our Rue Grant got a text indicating that Griffey had picked the Braves over the Seattle Mariners. This was corroborated independently by Dave O’Brien over at the AJC – but as the day wore on, Griffey and his agent have come out and said that a decision has not been reached yet. We’re supposed to hear this afternoon or this evening about Griffey’s final decision. Word has it that Griffey is almost certain to sign in Atlanta, though.

If Griffey comes to Atlanta to likely platoon in left field with Matt Diaz. Griffey hits right handers very well still and Diaz absolutely hates on lefties, so they’ll make a great platoon in left field. Griffey will being some experience, leadership, and probably a bit of fun to the clubhouse – he may not be young anymore, but he’s still The Kid at heart.

In 2007, both Diaz and Griffey’s last fully healthy seasons, the stats look like this: Griffey hit .300 off righthanders with 21 homers and 65 RBIs. Diaz hit .356 off lefties with 9 HRs and 27 RBIs. Diaz was sharing left field duties some that year, though. That’s not half bad to have in left field – we have something to look forward to in 2009. I’d expect to see Griffey bat in the 3 hole (his customary place) or maybe 6th – not sure where Cox would put Diaz, but knowing Cox it’ll change multiple times during the season.

Are you excited about the possibility of Griffey in the Braves’ lineup this year? We sure are – Griffey is and always has been a class act and we think he’d fit right in with the team. Can’t wait to see a fan group pop up, though. Naming that one will be creative – I can’t think of much that rhymes with Junior or Griffey. Take your best shot.

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Posted in General, Roster Moves | 19 Comments »

Atlanta Courting Griffey

Written by Colin on February 15, 2009 – 3:39 pm

We’re sure by now that you’ve heard that the Braves are interested in Ken Griffey Jr. – Apparently he’s interested in the Braves as his first choice (he’d love to stay on the east coast – his daughter plays sports in Atlanta and his son plays in Orlando – where his home is). He’d love to play for Bobby Cox, too. I’d say we may see something done before the end of the week.

Grant McAuley wrote a great article yesterday on Griffey and the power we can expect out of him. If he’s healthy, I think we could see 15-20 homers out of Griffey potentially. Platoon him in left field with Matt Diaz (let Griffey bat the right handed pitchers and Diaz play against lefties) and we could have some decent power out of that position.

I’d love to see Griffey in Atlanta, if he ends up here instead of Seattle, who’s also in the running for Griffey’s services. Do you think Griffey is a good fit in Atlanta? I know he’s not young – but his leadership and love for the game would be welcome in the Braves’ clubhouse I believe. What do you think?

UPDATE: Sources say the deal is done.  Check it out:

Posted in General | 12 Comments »

Outfield Update

Written by Colin on February 12, 2009 – 12:47 pm

Thanks to Grant McAuley for the article suggestion. Check out Grant’s excellent blog “A ‘Braves’ New World” when you have time.

Bobby Abreu was recently snatched up by the Angels. Dunn was signed yesterday by the Nationals. Apparently Ken Griffey Jr. is nearing a contract with Seattle, and the Braves remain looking for an outfielder. Fox Sports’ Ken Rosenthal says that the Braves are looking into Garret Anderson, Luis Gonzalez and Jim Edmonds (Jr. was also mentioned, but best bet for him is Seattle at this point). Rosenthal also says a trade with Swisher is still a possibility, but less likely than a free agent signing.

We’ve already talked about what we think about Garret Anderson. He would knock in some runs but I don’t think he’d provide an incremental amount of power that’d set him above our current outfielder platoon options. Some people may disagree, and that’s fine.

Luis Gonzalez seems like a horrible fit. We wanted power. We need a cleanup hitter. Under 75 RBIs and an average of less than 15 home runs over the last three years? I just don’t see him as a fit. I’d rather watch Diaz/Jones. Jim Edmonds seems to be a better fit with an average of more than 15 HRs the last three years – still under 75 RBIs though – which we’ll forgive as he played with San Diego some of last year. Still not cleanup material with around a .250ish average. We could expect him to play in 110-115 games.

Xavier Nady hasn’t been mentioned much recently – I think that we’re probably shying away from the one-year-rental mentality that comes with trading for Nady. Swisher has a lot of $ attached to him and a three year commitment, but he could potentially cover first if the outfield got too crowded. I like Swisher for this year best, but long-term I’m not sure where he’d fit in.

I’d like to see us wait a little bit and see how the youngsters Schafer, Jones, Blanco, Diaz, and Anderson do in spring training before bringing in someone that’s going to bat middle of the order. If we bring someone in, Swisher sounds like the best fit if we’re willing to spend a little bit of money. Let the same comments flow that have been bouncing around the last few weeks :) Just had to update everyone on the potential outfield options.

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