It flew under the radar in the aftermath of the Phillies' World Series win on Wednesday and the monster Mike Jacobs blockbuster (or something) on Thursday, but the White Sox declined their 2009 option on Ken Griffey earlier this week, opting to pay the man a $4 million buyout instead of a $16.5 million salary.
Griffey was both productive (101 OPS+) and healthy (143 games) last year, so he should have no problem finding at least one more job should he choose to do so. And considering it's the first time in his life he's a free agent, I won't be surprised if takes his time deciding where he wants to end his career.
John Hickey of the Seattle Post-Intelligencer has an interesting suggestion: why not end it where it all began? The Mariners are woefully in need of run production, and even though Griffey isn't nearly the same player he was when he was traded in 2000, he still has a bit of pop in his bat. An incentive-laden contract just might work out for both parties
It's far too soon to say what new GM Jack Zduriencik's plans are and how much of a baseball history buff he is. But Safeco Field was built with Griffey in mind, and it would make sense to me to see J-Z give Griffey a try, to see if the left-handed who helped make the Mariners a franchise can use the park to his benefit.
If it doesn't work, the Mariners wouldn't be out much money. If it does, there is the potential of high performance.
Eighteen different players appeared in Seattle's lineup as a DH last year, and you know what they did? Absolutely squat: they hit 15 home runs and drove in 77 runs, batting .221 with a pitiful .272 OBP and .337 SLG. The Mariners ranked either last or second to last in the AL in each category, so bringing in Griffey would not only help build goodwill but also have a tangible effect on improving the lineup.