• Ken Griffey Jr.

    Posted by on April 25th, 2008 · Comments (18)

    Ken Griffey Jr. will be 39-years old next season. He has a contract to play baseball with the Reds in 2009. But, it’s a club option: $16.5 million to keep Griffey in Cincy; or, $4 million to buy him out. Based on his age, injury history, (at times) attitude, and the direction of the club, you have to figure that the Reds will go for the buyout.

    So, what happens if the Yankees let Bobby Abreu walk after this season? Do they move Melky Cabrera to right and open up a spot for Brett Gardner in center? Or, would Hank maybe make a play for Griffey, on a one or two-year deal, to get him to play right field in the Bronx? Does A-Rod, who played with Griffey in Seattle, factor into this somehow?

    Personally, I would hate a move to bring in Griffey next season. Because of his age, rep, injury history, etc., it’s a terrible move. But, I guess anything is possible.

    Comments on Ken Griffey Jr.

    1. RollingWave
      April 25th, 2008 | 10:19 am

      They’ll have to figure it out as they go along, how the kids do this year… (Melky / Tabata / Gardner / Jackson ) how Bobby do.. etc.. I would think that the best idea is to sign Bobby for 2 more year. but with the way he’s probably going to play . I highly doubt he’ll take 2 year.

      And I would be hugely dissapointed if they sign Griffey

    2. Raf
      April 25th, 2008 | 10:43 am

      Griffey? Wow, where’d that come from?

      Based on his injury history, I’d have to pass. Besides, if he still has a grudge against NY he won’t come here 🙂

    3. gphunt
      April 25th, 2008 | 10:45 am

      I think the move would be a good one if Matsui were involved in the mass exodus next year. Then I would totally take Griffey as a DH with that short porch.

      But he’s too injury prone now to remain as a starting outfielder.

      Bobby will most likely be seeking a 3-4 year deal and with several spots opening up in Latin Amer, ahem, I mean the Mets he will probably role over there.

    4. asdf
      April 25th, 2008 | 10:45 am

      #@!# the heck?

    5. j
      April 25th, 2008 | 10:47 am

      I don’t see this team signing Griffey. They’ve seen first hand the effects of having too many 1 dimensional, oft injured players on the roster. We’ve also got some soon-to-be senior citizens which is going to make the DH spot crowded in the next 2 years.

      Nevertheless, this brings up an interesting argument about the Yankees OF situation in the coming years. I can’t see them stick with Abreu who will probably want 4 or 5 years.

      The guy that everyone seems to want is Mark Teixera, which I think makes sense. Let’s say the following things happen this year:

      -Melky proves he can be a league average CF offensively and above average defensively.
      -Jackson or Gardner are ready for MLB in 2009, which means they will play above average to very good defensively. Hold off for a second on discussing how they’ll hit.
      -The Yankees sign Teixera to play 1B.

      So, let’s say Jackson or Gardner (or Tabata I suppose, though that seems like a stretch at this point) can do something comparable at the plate to what we get at 1B in 2008 (for comparison, the Yankees 1B had an OPS of .769 in 2007, so the bar isn’t very high at this point.) Then don’t you have this?

      -Abreu’s offensive production replaced by Teixera (Teixera can be expected to out-produce Abreu, I think.) The point is, definitley no net offensive loss.
      -The 1B defense improves tremendously.
      -The OF defense improves (Jackson/Gardner in CF, Melk in RF > Melky in CF, Abreu in RF).

      Seems logical to me to let Abreu walk (and thus get heavily compensated as he’ll most likely be type A) and sign Teixera. Makes watching the progress of Jackson and Gardner (who is all of a sudden on a bit of a power streak) a little more interesting.)

    6. EdB
      April 25th, 2008 | 11:42 am

      Can’t really answer this question now as we’re still waiting on Gardner to prove he can do it in the big leagues and Ajax to prove he can do it for an entire year at any level.

      However-I kind of like the Griffey idea if its a 1 yr deal. With the payroll coming off the books I wouldn’t mind seeing Griffey out there expecially since there are several guys in the minors (maybe throw S Duncan in there too) that are at least interesting. I’d like the idea of Griffey/Duncan to start the year better than a guy like Gardner being the plan A. Now if somehow they signed Tex that would be MUCH better as his body looks to age better than Giambi did. Damon, Jeter, Griffey, AROD…even on the back end of their careers that lineup will put up some runs.

      If you want to get REAL ambitious assuming the kids start pitching like they are supposed to how about Damon, Jeter, Tex, Arod, Griffey, Posada, Matsui/Cano. With the injury history and age you should still get a good amount of ABs for the kids. A bench of Gardner, Duncan, Molina, and Gonzalez would sound pretty solid.

    7. April 25th, 2008 | 11:49 am

      Forget Griffey’s injury history, how about the fact that he’s an awful right fielder. We’re talking Manny Ramirez bad. He’s probably -15 runs over a full season or -10 over his typical 2/3 of a season. Given that he’s been about +15 runs offensively, that’s just a touch above average overall, or almost exactly average if you consider he’s a right fielder.

      I’m sure the Yankees can find a league-average player for cheaper than they can get Griffey.

    8. antone
      April 25th, 2008 | 1:04 pm

      I don’t think they would go after Griffey after going through the whole injury deal with Giambi the past few years. Maybe as a DH but I can’t see them making him a full-time OF, that is too much of a risk.

      After looking at the list of 2009 FA OF’s below, I think the Yankees should go after Carl Crawford to basically replace Damon as the leadoff hitter.

      If they don’t resign Abreu, I would imagine Burrell and Dunn would be under consideration too.

      Bobby Abreu NYY
      Moises Alou NYM
      Garret Anderson * LAA
      Rocco Baldelli * TB
      Willie Bloomquist SEA
      Emil Brown OAK
      Pat Burrell PHI
      Endy Chavez NYM
      Carl Crawford * TB
      Adam Dunn CIN
      Jim Edmonds SD
      Juan Encarnacion STL
      Cliff Floyd TB
      Brian Giles * SD
      Ken Griffey Jr. * CIN
      Vladimir Guerrero * LAA
      Raul Ibanez SEA
      Jacque Jones DET
      Mark Kotsay ATL
      Rob Mackowiak WAS
      Kevin Mench TEX
      Jason Michaels * CLE
      Craig Monroe MIN
      Jay Payton BAL
      Scott Podsednik COL
      Manny Ramirez * BOS
      Juan Rivera LAA
      Rondell White MIN

    9. April 25th, 2008 | 1:28 pm

      The problem with Dunn and Burrell is that they’re horrible fielders, in the -10 to -15 run range. That list is ugly.

    10. gphunt
      April 25th, 2008 | 1:41 pm

      Oh man Rondell White is on that list. Yanks gotta sign him.

    11. antone
      April 25th, 2008 | 3:35 pm

      The problem with Dunn and Burrell is that they’re horrible fielders, in the -10 to -15 run range. That list is ugly.
      Agreed but they are the only decent free agent options other than re-signing Abreu or going after Crawford.

      That is assuming Ibanez is too old(turns 37 next year)and Vlad will stay with the Angels. Neither is good in the field at this point either though.

    12. EdB
      April 25th, 2008 | 4:08 pm

      Looking at that list obviously Crawford, Vlad, and ManRam are Optiona A in a perfect world. However I’m working on the assumption that someone in the minors at least looks like a long term option (even if it takes another years. Dunn would be fun to watch but it seems to me like he will be overpaid pretty quickly ala Giambi. Burrell is too streaky and I question if he can handle the pressure. So yeah, I’ll take Griffey or maybe see what Baldelli’s up to. He’s dynamic when healthy…

    13. j
      April 25th, 2008 | 4:19 pm

      Looking at that list obviously Crawford, Vlad, and ManRam are Optiona A in a perfect world.

      Let’s not forget about defense. Crawford offers the best all around package of that bunch.

      If they signed Crawford AND Teixera, that would be quite a Christmas present.

    14. j
      April 25th, 2008 | 4:19 pm

      …. assuming his option isn’t picked up.

    15. Joel
      April 25th, 2008 | 4:24 pm

      Ken Griffey Jr., with 600+ home runs and no PED crap hanging over him, hitting massive HR’s at the new Stadium while winning his first ring.


    16. April 25th, 2008 | 4:25 pm

      In case it’s no obvious to everybody, the Rays have options for Crawford for 2009 and 2010 at very reasonable prices ($6.75MM and $8.75MM above buyout cost). It would take a trade to see him in a Yankee uniform next year, but quite possibly one that’s worth it.


      You know who would be a decent one-year gamble? Endy Chavez. He’s a touch below average offensively, but is an outstanding fielder and good baserunner. Overall, he’s probably only a step behind Dunn and Burrell. His cost would be minimum and would not require a long-term deal, which is important when you want to eventually open up a spot for a young guy from the farm system.

      We could also discuss again the idea of moving Jeter to the outfield, finally. Not that it’s any easier to find a decent shortstop.

    17. antone
      April 25th, 2008 | 5:54 pm

      In case it’s no obvious to everybody, the Rays have options for Crawford for 2009 and 2010 at very reasonable prices ($6.75MM and $8.75MM above buyout cost). It would take a trade to see him in a Yankee uniform next year, but quite possibly one that’s worth it.

      Yeah I didn’t think Crawford was a full blown free agent but couldn’t find anything about an option, so I thought maybe this was his option year but I guess not.

      I think they should just stick with Abreu for now then. Maybe they can keep him for 3 years instead of 4 or 5.

    18. EdB
      April 28th, 2008 | 3:54 pm

      Bobby will be on his last contract. He’s going to want 4+.

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