Griffey meets with Wren

What was shaping up as a rather ordinary Spring Training Monday at Disney’s Wide World of Sports complex turned into a rather interesting one when some guy named Ken Griffey Jr. arrived to meet with Braves general manager Frank Wren. 

Wren is scheduled to meet with Griffey’s agent, Brian Goldberg, on Tuesday and in the hours that follow, the veteran outfielder will likely announce whether he’ll be playing for the Braves or Mariners this year. 

If I had to guess, Griffey is going to choose the geographical advantages provided by the Braves.  Going to Spring Training approximately 20 minutes from his Orlando-area residence is just as appealing as the fact that his family will be just a one-hour flight away from Atlanta once the season begins.

I’m not putting much stock in the nostalgic angle of Griffey making the cross-country return to Seattle.  The Mariner Moose is the only familiar face he’d recognize from his previous days with the Mariners organization. 

If Griffey reaches an agreement on Tuesday, he could be with the Braves when they hold their first full-squad workout on Wednesday. 

Within the next week, the Braves will likely also reach an agreement with Tom Glavine.  But regardless of when he signs, the 300-game winner isn’t expected to come to camp for at least another week. 

When Glavine made his Major League debut for the Braves in 1987, his left fielder that day was Ken Griffey Sr.  Twenty-two years later,  the crafty southpaw could end his career with Jr.  as his teammate. 

With Glavine and Griffey, the Braves would have the unique opportunity to have a members of the 600-homer  club and 300-wins club on the same team.  I’ll have to check with Elias to see if this has ever happened.  Or better yet, I’ll start researching this myself and will update later.

- Mark Bowman

16 Comments

Before you guys throw out Hank Aaron/Phil Niekro, I’m going to look for guys who had joined the clubs and then spent subsequent days and years together as teammates.

Mark, what’s your gut feeling from being in Orlando? You know the players are talking, and some of them are talking to Junior.

Aaron and Spahn were 600 300 at the same time. Niekro and Aaron played together, but not holding the career numbers yet, same with Seaver and Mays.

Same with Randy Johnson and Ken Griffey come about June this summer. Add Maddox and Sosa to that same list.

Nolan Ryan and Sammy Sosa in 1989, but that’s about it. Aaron and Spahn are the only 600/300 so far that have it at the time they played together.

Thanks rother. Before I headed back here to my Spring Training residence, I quickly glanced at some possible duos and didn’t find any matches. Gaylord Perry/Mays, Spahn/Mays were some of the 600/300 club members who played together before reaching those exclusive clubs. My guess is that we might not find a match.

Sorry sent that last one before I saw the Spahn/Aaron match. I should have thought of that one earlier. Thanks again. It is an interesting search. As for my gut on Griffey, my gut feeling is that he’ll announce that he’s decided to play for the Braves some time tomorrow. It just makes too much sense for both parties.

Soon to be Johnson and ARod and Clemens and ARod as well. Unless WunderBud suspends him, or Bonds gets a cameo return to SF this season with the Big Unit still there. Ryan just missed Mays’ farewell tour with the Mets.

The six weeks he spends with Heyward will be worth whatever the Braves have to pay him. You just can’t get that in AAA. Bonds still talks about the time with Mays. Griffey himself got some good support early and will be glad to complete the circle I’m sure.

That sort of stuff really matters to the superstars. Remember the relationship Ted Williams had with Gwynn? The reverence he was paid at the All Star game that year was priceless. Those guys have a lot of pride, and a lot to give. I really think he’d be stuck in a corner in Seattle and ignored. I’ll be interested to hear when you finally get to talk with him how it all went down on his side. I’ve met Frank and he is a super guy that you know you can trust when you talk to him.

Looks to me like a 600-300 combo never happened.

Spahn retired in the mid-60s and Aaron didn’t hit 600 until the early-70s.

Nope, 1964 was Spahn last year with the Braves, Aaron was at 366 at the end of that year. This will be a first if it happens.

Is this going to be it though? Is Frank going to just up and say “ok, we got what we were looking for?” Yes, I think Griffey will definitely be a step in the right direction, but is Swisher or Nady still an option or are we banking on Schafer?

Dan, once they secure Griffey and Glavine, I believe the Braves will be done with their roster construction. Griffey became attractive when they concluded it would be difficult to land Nady or Swisher with the Yankees agreeing to pay a portion of their salaries. As for Schafer, I don’t know if they’re exactly banking on him. Because Anderson is out of options, I think he ‘ll start the season as Atlanta’s starting center fielder and Schafer will be with Triple-A Gwinnett. With that being said, I still think Schafer has the potential to change that mindset over the next six weeks.

Who is out of options this spring? I know last year it had a huge impact on the Opening Day roster. If we assume the Braves go north with 4 true outfielders, that would be Frenchy, Anderson, Griffey and Diaz. Then we have Chipper, Escobar, Johnson, Kotchman, McCann, Infante, Prado, Norton, Ross to get to 13. That is not particularly open for competition for the Brandon Jones, Gregor Blanco, Jordan Schafer contingent. I can see a pretty large prospect swap coming late this spring, what do you think? What is the status of Lerew this spring? Talk about a blast from the past. Is he one of the two that fall off the 40 man to get Tommy and Junior added today? I guess there’s a lot of baseball cards across the desk this morning in Frank’s office.

I really hate to even say this, but Nick Swisher is the 13th man at best on the Yankees roster for position players, and there is a real chance he gets waived by the end of Spring Training anyway depending on who has options left over there, and if there is any payroll remorse at all. Yikes.

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