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Hot Stone League

Larry Stone gives his take on a wide array of baseball issues and weighs in about the Mariners, too.

November 11, 2009 at 3:08 PM

Brian Goldberg (Griffey’s agent) weighs in

It doesn’t look like Ken Griffey Jr. is going to be available today to talk about his return, but I did talk to his agent, Brian Goldberg, who had some interesting insight into negotiations and his client’s mindset. Here are some highlights:

“Basically, we had all decided not to discuss too much until the World Series was over, and once it was over, it only took a few conversations to figure out the Mariners wanted Junior back, and he wanted to come back. How much money was involved and how much he’ll play was not at all an issue in getting something done. Those will all take care of themselves in a natural way.

“Both sides had the same impression of what they wanted to accomplish. It really only took a few conversations.”

On the contract: “The framework for this year’s deal is similar to last year’s.”

On Griffey’s health: “Physically, he’s great. He’s starting his rehabilitation. He’s able to play some golf, and he’ll tune up the workouts. I know his goal is to come in in good shape and be eady to go, so it leaves more options for him to be able to contribute.”

On Griffey’s thought process in returning: “We all met in that last weekend of the season (Griffey, Goldberg and Mariners’ executives), and saw what each side wanted in general, and had a meeting of the minds about what each side wanted. Nothing was said publicly, because Junior wanted to go home and talk to his family and make sure they were OK with it. Everyone knows how important his family is to Junior. His kids are getting older. He was kind of weighing how much he was going to miss certain things. Junior was pleasantly surprised last year at how much more he was able to work in his schedule as far as seeing Melissa and the kids more.”

On playing time: “Junior is adamant that he will be ready for whatever role Don (Wakamatsu) has in store for him on the field, large or small.”

On whether this will be his last year: “You never know. I’m sure he’s taking it one year at a time, but you don’t want to lock yourself in to say it’s the last year if something happens during the year to change that. Just like you don’t want to prognosticate you want to play more years if it’s logical you shouldn’t.”

On whether he ever considered returning in 2010 with another team: “At this point, it was not a matter of where he was going to play. It was either he would come back for another year with the Mariners, or he wasn’t going to play. He has no desire to play elsewhere.”

On whether Griffey considered retirement: “Absolutely. I’m sure it was not an automatic that, ‘Hey, I’m coming back.’ Retirement is something Junior considered. It was something he considered last year.”

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