Let's do this.
Jeff: Question the first: should the Mariners make a move for Ken Griffey Jr?
Graham: It might be worth it as a PR stunt, because this team sure isn't winning many baseball games with or without him around. I guess the problem with Griffey at this point is that he's essentially Raul Ibanez's slightly less able twin, and having them both on the same roster (and potentially patrolling the same outfield!) is a great recipe for Strasburgitis. Which I'd approve of, but I don't think that's what the team wants. But to make a grab for attendance... maybe. I have no idea what sort of impact a Griffey trade might have attendance-wise, but the Cinci series from last year indicates that Seattlites still haven't gotten over their collective crush on the dude.
There's also money to be considered. He's on a high salary this year, and we'd be on the hook for quite a lot of it, as well as the buyout. And getting Cinci to pay would probably require prospects, in which case we're probably going to get owned in a trade.
I'm going with 'no'.
Matthew: Short answer: no and no again.
Long answer: If the Mariners are hell bent on bringing Griffey back for one more season, I'd far far prefer it to be this year than next. So, under these very specific conditions I would embrace a move for Griffey.
-We are not on the hook for anything in 2009 and Griff makes it clear that he's retiring at the end of the year.
-It costs us figuratively nothing in terms of talent.
It might be worth it as a PR stunt, because this team sure isn't winning many baseball games with or without him around. I guess the problem with Griffey at this point is that he's essentially Raul Ibanez's slightly less able twin, and having them both on the same roster (and potentially patrolling the same outfield!) is a great recipe for Strasburgitis. Which I'd approve of, but I don't think that's what the team wants. But to make a grab for attendance... maybe. I have no idea what sort of impact a Griffey trade might have attendance-wise, but the Cinci series from last year indicates that Seattlites still haven't gotten over their collective crush on the dude.There's also money to be considered. He's on a high salary this year, and we'd be on the hook for quite a lot of it, as well as the buyout. And getting Cinci to pay would probably require prospects, in which case we're probably going to get owned in a trade.I'm going with 'no'.
(This better be going in the writeup)
This is part of the roundtable, right?
Jeff: You lost your color when you moved to England.
Also, Jeff, it's not my fault I happen to be a frosted Twinkie. >:(
Graham you're more like the Halloween Twinkie from the crazy neighbor. The one with razor blades hidden inside.
Let's transition to what Griffey brings to the table, then. Offense. Go.
Offense. Well, he brings a terrible split against LHP that stretches back nearly every year of this decade. So right away you have to see that his similarities to Raul extend past the useless glove and old age. He sees a decent number of pitches, probably because he's realized that he has no power left, but his high intentional walk count is also a factor there, and is a strike against his seemingly improved walk vs. k ratio.
His LD% is steady from 2007 but that's unimportant here because his BABIP isn't down much from 2007 (.268 from .284). That's right in line with what we'd expect, but his HR/FB% is at 6.6%. That's the percentage of flyballs that he hits that end up over the wall. That's down from 13.2% last year and 17.5% in 2006. Jose Vidro's HR/FB is at 7.6%. It might be a small sample size thing, but given his age and trend is simply looks like Griff's power is gone. Completely.
He obviously doesn't add any speed so in a sum package the 2008 version of Griffey looks pretty close to the 2007/8 version of Jose Vidro except he might have worse defense and he costs more.
03-06: 47% swing rate
07-08: 42% swing rate
Griffey isn't swinging as often as he used to. More specifically, he isn't swinging at strikes as often as he used to. His swing rate on balls outside of the zone is the same as ever, but his swing rate against strikes has dropped from ~73% to ~65%.
This is pretty typical of an aging slugger, and indicative of a guy with a slowing bat who's being selective for pitches he knows he can hit. And it's sort of working - Griffey's doing a good job of making contact when he swings. The problem is that his contact isn't very solid, which manifests itself in his reduced line drives and lower HR/FB%. That 6.6% that Matthew posted is damning. Right now that's worse than Vidro, it's worse than Ichiro, it's worse than Luis Castillo...it's worse than a lot of other guys' rates. It's just unthinkably bad for an alleged slugger. And even if you think he's just pressing to hit his milestone and that over time he'll regress to something closer to last year's 13.2%, that still isn't all that great.
In his prime, Ken Griffey Jr. could hit for average, hit for power, and draw a walk. Only the least meaningful of those skills still remains, and should pitchers realize that the pop is almost gone, that remaining skill may yet go away. He just doesn't look like he's got much left in the tank. I know Safeco's built for him and all, but if he can't produce in Cincinnati, what reason do we have to believe that he'd be able to produce in Seattle? Confines don't get much friendlier than the GABP.
Don't buy the hype. Barring some sort of remarkable turnaround, Griffey wouldn't be of any help to the team.
But on the other hand, even if the power came back to last year's standard, he's a worse version of Raul Ibanez. And we already have one of him on the roster. Acquiring Griffey makes no sense baseball-wise.
Seriously, he's Raulesque out there... what more is there to say than that?
His defense is atrocious. Over the period from 2002-5 I had Griffey's defense rated as the second worst in all of the major leagues in center field. Sure, he's moved to rightfield now, but it's also three years later, which is like eight years for a normal human being. Griffey is about par with Ibanez and Manny in terms of defensive prowess and if the Mariners made any "use" out of his glove it would be a direct insult to Ichiro to have to share an outfield with those two.
UZR: -46 runs per 150 games (2003-2006)
PMR: -44 outs per 150 games (2005-2006)
RZR: -36 outs per 150 games (2004-2006)
UZR: -16 runs per 150 games (2007)
PMR: -14 outs per 150 games (2007)
RZR: -22 outs per 150 games (2007-2008)
Say what you will about individual defensive metrics, but we have a mountain of evidence that Griffey is one of, if not the worst everyday defensive player in the game. You're talking about a guy who's a -15 run corner outfielder when he's completely healthy, which he never is. He's impossibly bad and quite likely worse than Raul Ibanez with dust in his eye, meaning that even if he were a plus hitter - which he isn't - he'd still be giving everything right back in the field. When MGL called him the worst player in baseball, he wasn't kidding around. Griffey's got a convincing argument.
So we've established that Griffey isn't a good hitter, and he isn't even good enough to be an awful fielder. There has to be an upside, right? What would he do for us?
And think of the Griffey bobbleheads!!!
So, we're going to trade Clement and Triunfel for him, right?
A few years ago my brother bought me a Jesus action figure with wheels on the feet to allow for Real Gliding Action! I think it would be funny to do something like this for Griffey instead of churning out another bobblehead. His head would probably fall off of the damn things anyway.
We'd all hate having to give away talent to get him or having to deal with him full-time in 2009, yes?
(1) Trade Felix
(2) Replace Bavasi with Sabean
(3) Trade talent for Griffey
We're too numb to feel any of the little things (like, say, keeping Morrow in the bullpen), but these...these would be powerful enough to tear down the walls of indifference and instigate a flood of rejuvenated rage.
So we agree then. With one particular unlikely exception, the Mariners should absolutely not make a move for Ken Griffey Jr.