Our Griffey Opinion, Summarized
This story is going to dominate the Seattle baseball news for the next few days, and I’m sure we’re going to get a lot of non-regular traffic, so let me just summarize what we think of the Griffey signing.
1. As a short term, low money deal where he realizes he’s going to be DH and potentially be platooned, it doesn’t have a huge impact on the team one way or another. He can still be a useful hitter against RHPs, and we recognize that there’s a significant portion of the fanbase that really wants to see Junior play in Seattle again for reasons other than wanting the team to win. It will probably generate a decent amount of revenue for the club. For the amount of money that they had in the budget, there probably weren’t any better options.
2. Griffey in the outfield is a really bad idea. His age and injuries have robbed him of all range, and he’s worse out there than Ibanez was. In a perfect world, he’ll get exactly 0 innings in left field this year. He’s a DH only, unless he wants to teach himself to play first base.
3. If the Mariners are surprising everyone and contending in July, and Junior is hitting .260/.320/.400, the organization has to be willing to put him on the bench and make the move to bring in a better player. Likewise, if Clement’s knee prevents him from catching, Junior has to be willing to step aside and let the kid DH. He has to be okay with the fact that he’s not guaranteed a job regardless of how he plays. There are several situations that could arise that would involve the best decision for the team being Junior becomes a bench player. That has to be okay with him.
If the team can manage those variables, then it’s a decent enough move. As a LH platoon DH, he’s an okay player. They have to make sure he doesn’t want to play every day, never get pinch hit for, and try to play left field, though. In those scenarios, he’s hurting the team, and they’d be better off without him.