Griffey to Seattle
Because of the time it took for him to reach a decision and the fact that he’d had limited contact with the Braves in more than 24 hours, I can’t say I’m shocked that Ken Griffey Jr. chose to sign with the Mariners.
Seattle provides him a unique nostalgic opportunity to return to his Major League roots. In addition, the Mariners were willing to provide more money than the Braves.
As of last night, both teams were offering a $2 million guarantee. The incentive package offered by the Mariners was more financially lucrative.
With Griffey out of the picture, look for the Braves to make a trade or give one of their young outfielders a chance to platoon in left field with Matt Diaz. They seem more intrigued with these options than the prospect of signing free agent Garrett Anderson.
I think this might definitely open the door for Jordan Schafer, who certainly has more power potential than Gregor Blanco or Josh Anderson. Anderson is out of options and likely to land a roster spot. Schafer is a sound defender who can play both left and center.
Having received a Major League-low 27 homers from their outfielders last year, the Braves needed to find some power to add to their outfield mix. Their best chance to gain this power might be via trade.
What made Griffey more intriguing than Nick Swisher and Xavier Nady was his cost. Now Wren might have to find a way to be able to afford one of these two Yankees outfielders.
- Mark Bowman