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March 16, 2011 at 2:29 PM

Ken Griffey Jr. arrives in Peoria

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The only real “news” going on here today is that Ken Griffey Jr. walked into camp just about an hour ago. The Mariners have yet to give any indication whether he’ll speak formally to the media and answer questions about his abrupt retirement and falling out with former manager Don Wakamatsu.
Until we know, I guess no news is…no news, right?
For those who don’t understand no-trade clauses, there was some quasi-news today about Felix Hernandez and the teams on his no-trade list.
This doesn’t matter because:
1. Hernandez isn’t getting traded in 2011
2. The teams on his no-trade list are about the only ones that can afford to deal for him
The only thing worth noting about no-trade clauses for prime-time guys like Hernandez is that they’ll usually put the wealthiest, most-likely destinations for them on the list so they can jack those teams up for more cash if a deal is about to be made.


We go through this every time the no-trade issue comes up. Unless we’re talking about Kansas City or Cleveland, the no-trade lists are usually just a gambit by better players to maximize their conditions with a new club.
If you didn’t know this, it’s OK. Most people get all worked up when no-trade lists are made public. Most of the time, it turns out to be nothing.
And like I said: Hernandez isn’t going anyplace. It was good work by the story’s author to get the list and make it public. And yeah, it might make sense to deal Hernandez. But the M’s aren’t about to do it.
End of story.
Until the next time.
So, what’s going on for news? Well, Michael Pineda pitches tonight for the first time since we wrote that the fifth starter’s job is his to lose. Pineda reads the papers and has good ears, so he’s probably heard that he’s the frontrunner by now. It will be interesting to see how he responds. Does he keep intimidating hitters, or does his stuff start flying all over the place? Does the fastball-changeup differential drop to 6 mph?
This is all part of the evaluation process. Probably no coincidence that word is getting out the team feels Pineda can be a fifth starter. They’ll want to see how he handles that pressure before these games start to count for something.
On to Griffey Watch…

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