Views from the first workout at Disney
As this first day of workouts conclude, one can only wonder whether Tom
Glavine and Ken Griffey Jr. will actually step on the field with the
Braves before Rafael Soriano.
Citing an upper respiratory
infection, Soriano decided not to participate in the first workout for
Braves pitchers and catchers on Sunday. Maybe it’s time to remind him
he’s in the final year of his contract and this is one of those years
when he’s supposed to pitch.
OK enough about Soriano and back
to the future Hall of Famers who could soon be joining the Braves. It
still appears Glavine could reach an agreement within the next few days
and a source close to Griffey said the veteran outfielder could reach
a decision as early as Monday.
While some of the Braves player
have made an assumption that Griffey will opt to join them, members of
both parties have said it’s too early to make this assumption.
this being said, in their search to add an outfielder the Braves have
clearly moved Griffey to the top of their wish list. The ability to
get him for $1-2 million is much more appealing than the prospect of
waiting to see if the Yankees will deal Nick Swisher with the agreement
to assume a portion of his remaining contract.
About a week
ago, Swisher seemed to be at the top of the wish list. But that was
before Griffey called the Braves and campaigned for the opportunity to
play for Atlanta.
Suddenly the prospect of paying $22.05
million over the course of the next three years didn’t seem as
appealing to the Braves. With the uncertainty of this current economy,
that’s just not a price you want to pay for a guy who has combined to
hit .241 with a .792 OPS (on-base percentage plus slugging percentage)
over the past two seasons.
Even while essentially playing
with one healthy leg this past season, Griffey’s combined statistics
over the past two seasons include a .263 batting average and an .825
OPS. Against right-handed pitchers during this span, he hit .286 with
an .893 OPS.
If Griffey is truly comfortable with being part
of a left field platoon with Matt Diaz, he seems to be the best fit
from both a financial and production standpoint.
By Monday, we might receive confirmation that he feels the Braves are indeed the best fit for him.
– Mark Bowman