Is Junior going, going…..?

The reason Ken Griffey Jr., wanted to leave Seattle nine years ago could be the same reason why his much-anticipated return to the Mariners might not happen after all.

He can play for a team closer to his family home in Orlando.

The late-charging Braves could on the verge of spoiling the Mariners’ coming-home bash for Griffey, the most celebrated player in franchise history. Although Junior has expressed a strong desire to return to his MLB roots, turning the Braves down could be difficult. The National League team holds its Spring Training in Orlando and Atlanta is less than an hour away by air, compared to six-plus hours from Seattle.

It is believed that the offers Griffey has received from both organizations are similar, perhaps with a base salary in the $2 million range, plus incentives.

Griffey, who played in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Game golf tournament (his team missed the cut) returned home afterwards to ponder a decision as to where the next stop on his Hall of Fame career will be. His decision could come as early as Sunday, or as late as mid-week.

If he chooses the Braves, look for the Mariners to attempt to sign free agent outfielder Garret Anderson.

The Mariners still need an offensive boost, and although the 36-year-old Anderson wouldn’t match the fans’ warm-and-fuzzy feelings for Griffey, he’s is a quality big-league hitter and  familiar with AL West pitching.

And although Mariners fans who have been injected with enthusiasm the past few days, when it appeared Griffey definitely was coming back, signing Anderson could be a good “consolation” prize.

— Jim Street

3 Comments

Mariners dinked around, and didn’t want to part with “anymore than (they) have to” so now another viable team enters the picture — what were they (M’s) waiting for!?? This is the kind of “decisions” and dealing fans decry — poor or none. Did Seattle honestly think no other team would want him? The question for Griffey now is whether he wants to be in the lineup occasionally, since there is no DH in Atlanta. The home team advantage is nil, since Atlanta is a stone’s throw away from Florida; close to Cincinnati (relatively speaking). I am extremely disappointed and angry, and this may be our last as season ticket holders! G. Anderson? — Scott Boras is a female mosquito, with apologies to the family Culicidae.

I wonder what kind of P.R. direction they want to take. Griffey (remember the old days) or Anderson (seeking to play against the Angels and prove them wrong) Which player will help the clubhouse more to be one that moves in a positive direction?

Aaron
http://mlbtribefan.mlblogs.com

Griffey is the ONLY outfielder I’d be looking to sign at this point. Forget GA – not going to help much anyway. The M’s are rebuilding – they have a depleted farm system (thank-you Bavasi) and they’ve tied up too much money in C-plus players (Washburn, Silva, BELTRE … and let’s try to forget the predictable DISASTER that was Richie Sexson).

Junior will pay for himself, give fans something to cheer for. Garrett won’t. The M’s will at best finish third in the division this year, most likely behind a first-place Oakland team and a West-Coast-Yankees-like Angels. Texas has no pitching and lost a crucial bat – that they didn’t replace – and will struggle.

For now, if we don’t get Griff, let Wladimir Balentien take the reins in left. He will get a chance to show what he can do and up his value so we can trade him for some pitching, or for some infielders.

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