Hey Mariners fans, are you getting excited about Seattle's rumoured dalliance with fan favorite Ken Griffey, Jr.? Well our favorite Northwest beat writer Geoff Baker seems to think the deal will be signed next week but the Kid himself is playing golf and playing hard to get:
"We don't know what we're doing next year with respect to Seattle. It's all rumors," Griffey said Thursday after finishing his round at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am in California.
"I really don't even know. My agent is handling," he said moments after stepping off the Poppy Hills course.
When asked if he still wants to play despite knee surgery last October, Griffey said: "As long as it's still fun, I want to keep playing."
Ken, playing baseball might not be fun for you but watching you run around and catch baseballs is fun for us. The Mariners are basically running a barebones operation right now. Outside of stud pitcher Felix Hernandez and box-office draw Ichiro, there's not much going on with this team that's deep in the rebuilding rut right now. Taking on a surefire HOF'er with mass regional appeal for a few sheckels and a platoon role is a great business move, as long as Ken is willing to take on a platoon role.
Matthew Carruth at Fangraphs points out that the lefty Griff still has pop against RHP but his OPS drops off a bit against southpaws. His outfield defense is no longer worth extra wins but the team wouldn't suffer from penciling him in the left field slot twice a week and giving him some DH action the rest of the time. So if that job split is being presented to him right now, does that give Griffey pause? Would he rather play full-time in the outfield for a contending team, or would he want to hang around with a bunch of kids and be the wise old veteran?
But hey, if we really wanted to know what Ken wanted to do this season, we should just ask Kris to get Mrs. Griffey on the telephone.