Griffey’s deal details, to be accompanied by schmaltz

DMZ · November 24, 2009 at 7:39 am · Filed Under Mariners 

$2.35m base salary
$3.9m if playing time >= 400 PA && attendance > 2.5m && Griffey’s DL stays = 0

This will be accompanied in all articles by descriptions of his miraculous effect on the team clubhouse and past glory with the team.

Comments

59 Responses to “Griffey’s deal details, to be accompanied by schmaltz”

  1. TranquilPsychosis on November 24th, 2009 8:09 am

    It seems that overpaying for marginal talent isn’t beneath the current administration.

  2. joser on November 24th, 2009 8:26 am

    Meh. It’s an overpay, but it’s not a huge chunk of money. It certainly doesn’t cripple the team or announce they’re giving up on being competitive in 2010. It leaves the team slightly less optimized (particularly in the DH spot, and especially if Griffey is more than a part-time DH) but it’s like Lance Armstrong adding fenders to his racing bike: yeah, it’s no longer the ideal competitive machine but that’s not going to make or break the race and, hey, it is a little more comfortable (no mud on your back!)

    Of course, if the fenders are just the first step to festooning the bike with other go-slow gadgets and accessories (the Sweeney horn! The Rob Johnson card in the spokes!), it’s a different story.

  3. diderot on November 24th, 2009 8:46 am

    If he’s not about the money, why did he need incentives?

  4. msb on November 24th, 2009 8:59 am

    If he’s not about the money, why did he need incentives?

    because he has an agent?

  5. TranquilPsychosis on November 24th, 2009 9:12 am

    On second thought, it might not be so bad.

    If he’s a part time DH, he probably won’t be getting 400PA, right? He had 387 last season as a platoon DH with Sweeney.

    I don’t mind the attendance clause at all. That’s not keeping him on the field when they could be playing someone with a higher upside.

    I kind of like the DL clause. What are the chances he plays a whole season without ending up on the DL? And going on the DL could possibly keep him under 400 PA too,. Thereby taking out 2 clauses in one fell swoop.

  6. joe simpson can hit on November 24th, 2009 9:17 am

    I’m surprised there’s not an Ichiro performance clause in there.

  7. diderot on November 24th, 2009 9:20 am

    because he has an agent?

    Oh yeah, I forgot–the one who said it had nothing to do with money.

  8. NBarnes on November 24th, 2009 9:21 am

    Who are Griffey’s competition for ‘worst position player in baseball’ this upcoming year?

  9. Mike Snow on November 24th, 2009 9:30 am

    Griffey had 454 PAs this past season.

  10. joser on November 24th, 2009 9:30 am

    because he has an agent?

    And because Zduriencik is smart. You can offer to pay an aging former superstar a big enough number that it looks like you’re still “respecting” him but you make it contingent on playing time he’s unlikely to reach so you end up paying him much less. Former superstar saves face, team saves money, everybody wins.

    There isn’t going to be the big surge in merch this offseason like there was last year — everybody already has their new Griffey jerseys, unless the team comes out with a “teal trident farewell edition” or something — so he probably won’t come close to paying for himself this time around. But considering the magnitude of the amount relative to everything else (hello, Carlos) it’s just not a big deal (the roster spot is of course the greater cost).

  11. joser on November 24th, 2009 9:32 am

    Who are Griffey’s competition for ‘worst position player in baseball’ this upcoming year?

    Nobody, because Griffey doesn’t play a position.

    Unless other teams have a tickler-in-chief.

  12. diderot on November 24th, 2009 9:38 am

    And because Zduriencik is smart.

    But Joser, that wasn’t my point. I’m looking at it from Griffey’s perspective. I believe this is how Stone quoted his conversation with Goldberg…

    How much money was involved and how much he’ll play was not at all an issue in getting something done.

    So the point remains–if Griffey and Goldberg were being sincere, why did they insist on incentives at all?

  13. georgmi on November 24th, 2009 9:50 am

    Who says anybody insisted on anything? Is it impossible that Zduriencik went to them with this package exactly as described, and Junior and Goldberg merely said, “Gimme a pen”?

    We can’t know, so we shouldn’t get bent out of shape over an imagined difference between what was said and what we think might have happened.

  14. Rboyle0628 on November 24th, 2009 9:50 am

    diderot, I think it come down to more that Griffey had fun playing baseball last year. Yeah, he knows he wont provide what he once did but I think it comes more down to he wants to still be involved in baseball. And if he can contribute a couple late inning hits or RBI’s off the bench he’d be satisfied doing that. I think that we’re seeing a former superstar realizing what he is gonna miss when its gone and wants maybe one more go around with a team that he enjoyed playing for last season.

    I believe truly this will be his last season. He can play for a team that looks to be somewhat competitive and in a place he grew up as a ballplayer. I think its actually kind of sad in a way. I remember my last college game, what I would have done for one more year to play. Even if it was just to sit on the bench and get a couple of AB’s or innings in the field. I’d of taken it in a split second.

  15. TranquilPsychosis on November 24th, 2009 10:08 am

    Griffey had 454 PAs this past season.

    Oops! You’re right Mike, I mistakenly looked at AB’s on Fangraphs.

  16. ex tacoma in mendo on November 24th, 2009 10:33 am

    In the bike analogy ; Silva= giant expensive backpack filled with rocks

  17. TranquilPsychosis on November 24th, 2009 10:51 am

    In the bike analogy ; Silva= giant expensive backpack filled with rocks

    Or a bike trailer filled with beef.

  18. fiftyone on November 24th, 2009 11:17 am

    Also in the bike analogy, I hesitate to cast Lance Armstrong in the role of the Good Ship Mariner.
    As long as Griffey remains the 25th man, as long as the incentives are not reached, as long as Saunders and Tui don’t lose significant playing time as a result of Jr.’s presence, this is a deal over which no sleep need be lost and no hairs need be pulled out.
    As soon as Griffey gets in the way of the future, the deal becomes quite a bit less optimal.

  19. wabbles on November 24th, 2009 11:21 am

    At one of the Safeco Field events, Bavasi said he had inherited a team that was “loved and beloved,” so it was real easy to bring back players that maybe shouldn’t have come back. I remember him specifically saying if the team hadn’t been so successful from 2000-2003, they might not have brought back Edgar for one last season (.241 BA by the way). But that success allowed them to do that, he said. The 2009 team’s RELATIVE success and Griffey’s RELATIVE success and the general all-around good feelings surrounding it all certainly make it easier to bring back Griffey. I just hope he doesn’t end up retiring mid-season to avoid embarrassment and ruining everything.

  20. maqman on November 24th, 2009 11:26 am

    I would have been happy if he had hung them up after the season, but I’m not sad he’s back for one more go-around. I very much appreciate what he did to help make major league baseball in Seattle a success. Without him they might now be the Oklahoma City Oil Barons or the Las Vegas Lizards. They were pretty pathetic for a long time, even before Bavasi. Take note of what his teammates say about the man; watch a kid’s face when they see him come out of the dugout. Think about what you will tell your grandkids about him, they will ask you, because he’s special.

  21. wabbles on November 24th, 2009 12:17 pm

    I think the team needed the incentives. Seriously. The whole point of bringing back Griffey is the PR value. So rather than throwing money at a man who doesn’t need it, the team wanted to show him want he is expected to do:

    * Play alot, even if only at DH.

    * Put butts in the seats.

    * Stay off the DL, which impacts the first two.

  22. et_blankenship on November 24th, 2009 1:07 pm

    the Sweeney horn!

    “Billy Mays, here! Today, I want to share with you a revolutionary new instrument . . . the Sweeney Horn!”

    *Billy Mays pulls back curtain to reveal a rather large, warped looking instrument that resembles something from the Grinch Who Stole Christmas*

    “Never before has a horn had the power to envelop you, compressing your rib cage with man-hugs of sound! Bad Day at work? No problem! With the push of a button, the Sweeney Horn can sense your mood and lift your spirits! But wait! Call the number on the bottom of your screen right now and you will also receive the Griff Tickler!”

  23. just a fan on November 24th, 2009 1:43 pm

    The M’s are bringing Griffey back for three reasons:

    1) Keep the positive vibes going, which may encourage Felix to re-sign. That seems to be the primary goal of this offseason (to me, at least) — re-signing Felix to a fair 5- or 6-year deal. So bringing back Griffey tells Felix (a) the club is interested in making the players’ experience at their job enjoyable and (b) the club treats its legendary players well. Perhaps in 2028, Felix can come back when he’s 42 and earn $5 million to be the mop-up man.

    2) Be there to DH for a couple weeks when Branyan/Johnson/Delgado/whoever-they-may-sign-at-DH inevitably goes on the DL.

    3) Pinch hit for Jack Wilson/Rob Johnson/Adam Moore?/Saunders?/Hannahan? one summer night in the bottom of the 9th and hit a dramatic game-winning home run.

    I’m sure if we look back on it, Griffey has been underpaid for what he’s given to the M’s over the years. What’s a little givin’ back?

  24. Goody on November 24th, 2009 1:57 pm

    I believe that this season if Jr. gets 400 PA he will have to earn them. The Mariners will (hopefully) have more productive bats for that spot.

  25. NBarnes on November 24th, 2009 3:54 pm

    Nobody, because Griffey doesn’t play a position.

    DH has a positional adjustment, it’s a position.

  26. TranquilPsychosis on November 24th, 2009 4:10 pm

    I’m sure if we look back on it, Griffey has been underpaid for what he’s given to the M’s over the years. What’s a little givin’ back?

    In a time when you have spare roster spots because your core team is that good, no problem givin’ back. When you’re trying to dig your team out of a hole as deep as the one they have been mired in, it can make a pretty significant difference.

    Also, nostalgia doesn’t win games.

  27. IwearMsHats on November 24th, 2009 4:26 pm

    No, nostalgia doesn’t win games. But leadership does. I know some people will disown the notion that there is value in leadership because it is not easily quantified, but there is still some value in leadership. Some people here might not give it any value, but I think it’s obvious that Jack Z sees some value in leadership. That said, hopefully griff will lose some weight and take some pressure off those knees!

  28. TranquilPsychosis on November 24th, 2009 4:47 pm

    but I think it’s obvious that Jack Z sees some value in leadership.

    Or the marketing dept said “Hey this Griffey guy puts butts in seats and sells tons of gear. Sign him again.”

    Then ownership said “You know, they’re right. Sign him.”

    And Z said *sigh* “Alright, but we won’t be as good”

    Marketing and ownership: *blink blink*

    And so the contract was written.

  29. Jeff Nye on November 24th, 2009 5:18 pm

    You know what else wins games? Magical fairies.

    Pink ones.

    I can’t quantify or prove this, of course, but I don’t have to. I’ll just keep saying it over and over again until people tire of arguing with me, and then I’ll have won.

  30. Liam on November 24th, 2009 5:34 pm

    I’m sure if we look back on it, Griffey has been underpaid for what he’s given to the M’s over the years. What’s a little givin’ back?

    The Mariners are not a charity.

    According to fangraphs, Ken Griffey Jr. has been paid around $76M from 2002-2009. He produced at a level worth $17M. Should he give the Reds a refund?

  31. gwangung on November 24th, 2009 5:36 pm

    But leadership does. I know some people will disown the notion that there is value in leadership because it is not easily quantified, but there is still some value in leadership

    Yeah, but you don’t lead from the bench.

  32. georgmi on November 24th, 2009 5:42 pm

    Actually, the pink fairies have a negative win value. It’s the green ones that help your team.

  33. IwearMsHats on November 24th, 2009 5:42 pm

    You know what else wins games? Magical fairies.

    Pink ones.

    I can’t quantify or prove this, of course, but I don’t have to. I’ll just keep saying it over and over again until people tire of arguing with me, and then I’ll have won.

    Interesting red herring point you make there.

  34. Kunkoh on November 24th, 2009 5:42 pm

    I want a Tickle-me-Ichiro bobble head.

  35. Jeff Nye on November 24th, 2009 5:54 pm

    Red herring doesn’t mean what you think it means, but let’s go back to talking about pink fairies instead.

  36. msb on November 24th, 2009 5:56 pm

    Larue

    “Last September in a Mariners-Rangers series, Junior wound up at second base when Omar was playing second, and the two chatted during a pitching change. “I told him I was thinking about retiring,” Vizquel said. “Kenny said that word wasn’t in his vocabulary. He said he wanted to play as long as he was having fun and someone wanted him. “It got me thinking.”"

  37. hailcom on November 24th, 2009 6:30 pm

    I was surprised to see Jeff Nye’s sarcastic comment equating the effect of leadership with the effect of fairies. I agree it wasn’t a red herring comment, but it was inapposite. Because the effect of leadership is difficult to quantify–though many people have actually tried–does not mean the effect does not exist. In response to your suggestion that belief in leadership is irrational, I offer the reported testimony of Ichiro, Jack Z, and Wak, who all seem to think leadership exists and that Griffey brought that to the team in 2009. So, give IwearMsHats some slack. His comment was pretty innocuous and did not deserve a cutting reply.

  38. Jeff Nye on November 24th, 2009 6:50 pm

    We’re sarcastic here sometimes, especially when the 183,204th person shows up here claiming that leadership, chemistry, or some other equivalent of magic fairy dust has a significant effect on winning baseball games, despite no one ever having provided any proof to support that assertion.

    Get used to it.

  39. hailcom on November 24th, 2009 7:07 pm

    Excellent points, eloquently made.

  40. argh on November 24th, 2009 8:30 pm

    They can trick deal the salary budget for $2.5 million if the real motivation here is to put a few hundred extra butts into the seats for 81 home games and move the needle some measurable amount on TV viewing numbers. There are any number of scenarios where they can earn back Jr.’s salary and then some just from having him around to wave and grin at the crowd. What you can’t get, though, is another roster spot. So the rest of the hill they have to climb this winter just got a little bit steeper.

  41. NBarnes on November 24th, 2009 9:24 pm

    I know some people will disown the notion that there is value in leadership because it is not easily quantified

    No. The problem is not that leadership is hard to quantify. It’s that the correlation between wins and production has been analyzed and leadership doesn’t show up as an unanticipated variable.

    Leadership, to the extent that it exists, has a very low win-value.

  42. TranquilPsychosis on November 24th, 2009 9:50 pm

    Actually, the pink fairies have a negative win value. It’s the green ones that help your team.

    Sorry Georgmi, Greenies have been banned by MLB on the current drug policy. Pinkies are still legal though.

    “Kenny said that word wasn’t in his vocabulary. He said he wanted to play as long as he was having fun and someone wanted him. “It got me thinking.””

    With this statement 2011 isn’t looking so rosy.

    Get used to it.

    I’d much prefer that the braintrusts find their way back to the fox sites they came from, thank you. Or they could stay off their keyboards for a few months and actually learn something.

    They can trick deal the salary budget for $2.5 million if the real motivation here is to put a few hundred extra butts into the seats for 81 home games and move the needle some measurable amount on TV viewing numbers.

    You can’t forget about all the ice cream they may sell. There might be a contract with Ben & Jerry’s dependent upon this signing, you know.
    (Some people are so short sighted) :)

  43. Liam on November 24th, 2009 10:02 pm

    Who puts more butts in seats, Ken Griffey Jr. on the roster or Ken Griffey Jr. on a poster? The Mariners could have several promotions with $3 million dollars.

  44. maqman on November 25th, 2009 1:57 am

    Leadership, to the extent that it exists, has a very low win-value.

    That’s not what they teach at West Point.

  45. Graham on November 25th, 2009 7:21 am

    That’s not what they teach at West Point.

    So I did some painstaking research here and as it turns out West Point is not the United States School of Baseball Excellence. Fancy that.

  46. TranquilPsychosis on November 25th, 2009 8:21 am

    So I did some painstaking research here and as it turns out West Point is not the United States School of Baseball Excellence. Fancy that.

    Of course it isn’t. Everyone knows that the School of Baseball Excellence for the U.S. is Juilliard in New York.

  47. BakedMcBride on November 25th, 2009 8:31 am

    I’m sure this has been asked about eleventeen thousand times, but why isn’t Griffey at first base being bantered around? Upsides: left-handed, saves knees, spells Branyan when needed…etc. And I’m sure the dude is capable of snaring errant throws from Tui. What am I missing?

  48. TranquilPsychosis on November 25th, 2009 9:19 am

    And I’m sure the dude is capable of snaring errant throws from Tui. What am I missing?

    You’re missing that jr shouldn’t be playing the field at all. Especially as an everyday player. Also, he has never played the position. Frankly, I’d have him pitch before I put him anywhere else on the field. (And, no, I don’t want him pitching either)

    The way it should go this season is that he gets 2 starts a week at DH (to keep him healthy, you know) then on 9/1 he announces his impending retirement and all the fans flood Safeco for the entire month and shower Griffey with “We love you junior” and “We gonna miss you Kid” signs. Then he rides off into the sunset and we all move on to better things.

  49. snepp on November 25th, 2009 10:34 am

    Then he rides off into the sunset and we all move on to better things.

    Like giving roster spots to quality baseball players?

  50. TranquilPsychosis on November 25th, 2009 12:17 pm

    Like giving roster spots to quality baseball players?

    Now you’re just being picky! But it is a thought…

  51. fiftyone on November 25th, 2009 1:54 pm

    and as it turns out West Point is not the United States School of Baseball Excellence.

    Which is unfortunate. If it were, we could do the world a service by keeping the cadets here and deploying the Yankees to Afghanistan instead.

  52. TranquilPsychosis on November 25th, 2009 2:40 pm

    Which is unfortunate. If it were, we could do the world a service by keeping the cadets here and deploying the Yankees to Afghanistan instead.

    Very nice. you get 5 points for that one.

  53. EricL on November 25th, 2009 3:57 pm

    unless the team comes out with a “teal trident farewell edition” or something

    Even money says the last home game of the season is played in teal sleeveless jerseys.

  54. Mustard on November 25th, 2009 7:04 pm

    Would you not rather have Andruw Jones signed to a one-year contract for $500,000, with a chance to make $1 million in performance bonuses? Then again, I suppose he isnt the clubhouse presence the M’s are looking for.

  55. TranquilPsychosis on November 25th, 2009 9:20 pm

    Would you not rather have Andruw Jones signed to a one-year contract for $500,000, with a chance to make $1 million in performance bonuses?

    Yes. I would not. And it has nothing to do with clubhouse presence.

    He’s a right hander that would have issues hitting in Safeco. Why, other than a cheap price tag, would you want to see him signed in Seattle?

  56. TranquilPsychosis on November 25th, 2009 9:30 pm

    Even money says the last home game of the season is played in teal sleeveless jerseys.

    I have 5 bucks that says you are proposing a bet.

  57. Mustard on November 26th, 2009 7:34 am

    Tranquil, I disagree. I think alot of it has to do with clubhouse presence. It’s been talked about on here a lot. I grew up a Griffey fan and still am, but there is no way he should be making a possible $4mil. putting up numbers like last year while not being able to help you out at all defensively. I was being sarcastic about actually wanting Jones, but there are better and cheaper options out there for a left handed DH.

  58. TranquilPsychosis on November 26th, 2009 10:00 am

    Mustard, I meant my reasons for not wanting Jones had nothing to do with clubhouse presence.

    And I agree with you on the cheaper options.

  59. mattlock on November 26th, 2009 11:19 am

    This is really an interesting situation. It seems in the Mariners’ best interest that Junior not qualify for the incentive bonuses. Unless Junior has a massive offensive turnaround this year, that extra $1.45M will be much better spent elsewhere.

    Yet Junior is a smart guy. He knows the game and the business of baseball. He loves this team and this city, obviously. Why would he sign an incentive-laden contract if he knew that it was in the team’s best interest that he not attain the standards required to make those incentives worthwhile? There are a couple options I can think of…1st, perhaps he still thinks he can legitimately produce, not just at a major league level, but at a level befitting a starting designated hitter on a contending team. Or 2nd, he knows he will never reach those standards, but he’s signing a deal that will at least help him maintain some dignity. But if that’s the case, it seems that he wouldn’t want to come back and play if it will be part-time at what he knows isn’t his best.

    And Jack Z’s a smart guy too. He’s not going to waste money. If he thinks Junior is worth $3.9M, he’ll pay him $3.9M. If he doesn’t think he’s worth it, he won’t pay him that. So is this incentive package merely a formality that both sides know will never be realized? Or do both sides see it as a legit possibility? If the former (which seems most reasonable), they must have something up their sleeves, i.e., Junior is being signed for his tickling, laughing, and ice cream pies and ends up on the 60-day, keeping him on the team yet opening up the roster for a better player. If that’s the case, why offer him a roster spot to begin with? Why not just bring him back as a coach (unless he doesn’t want to)? And if the latter, then I have grossly underestimated both the intelligence of Junior and Jack Z, and am due for disappointment in the future, because I don’t think any reasonable person can see Junior being as productive as anyone else they could put in that spot.

    Anyways, all things being said, this situation is proving rather confusing to me. Thanks for letting me roll this around somewhere other than my head. Comments anyone?

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