UPDATE (11:07 a.m.): Looks like Ken Griffey Jr. is going to torture us all, denying that he’s reached a deal with anyone. That would be news to some folks very close to these negotiations is all I will say. For anyone wondering, I did not base my confirmation off the Atlanta Journal Constitution story. I got it from someone working on the inside, which is where the money figures came from. If Griffey changes his mind…I don’t know what to tell you…for now, I’ll stick to what I wrote. The money he’s been offered is roughly the same from both sides. No one is breaking the bank for him. No deal is ever official until a name is signed to paper, but most times, when terms are being worked through, the player doesn’t go ahead and sign someplace else. I said most times. There are always exceptions. We’ll see if this is one. We’ll see, but I doubt it. Realistically, though, his denials are based off that Journal Constitution report, not off our independant confirmation. It’s highly possible he’s finishing off the nitty-gritty details of a contract with his agent and the Braves and has yet to tell the M’s officially that they are out. Such a thing would be a breach of professional politesse and slightly embarrassing. So, you say you’re mulling over the decision until the deal is signed off on and make a quick call to the M’s before announcing it to the world. That would be my guess about what’s going on.
Just got it confirmed that Ken Griffey Jr. is off to the Atlanta Braves for a package worth between $2 and $3 million in total compensation. They are still finalizing the contract details as we speak. But his base salary should be up close to the $2 million mark.
The M’s put in a similar offer, but the lure of playing closer to his Orlando home proved too much for Griffey.
Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik told me moments ago that he still had yet to hear anything. Zduriencik also was not going to comment on the possibility of bringing in another free-agent bat, like former Angels slugger Garret Anderson. But he’s certainly out there and now will become more prominent.
So, there it is. In the end, fans will just have to come to terms with the fact that the past is the past where Griffey is concerned. In the end, he just didn’t want to play in Seattle badly enough. It happens.
Should make for an interesting Geoff Baker Live! today at 1 p.m. Pacific time.
February 17, 2009 at 10:07 AM