Braves put Griffey in their sights…
The Atlanta Braves could be preparing a late charge at free agent outfielder Ken Griffey Jr., according to a report by ESPN’s Jerry Crasnick on Sunday.
Braves GM Frank Wren is still seeking to fill the void in
Atlanta the outfield with a veteran bat that could bolster the line-up.
Sources told Crasnick that the Braves have stepped things up and began
discussing money with Griffey’s agent, Brian Goldberg.
Much of the speculation over the weekend was that Griffey was
seeking a reunion with the Seattle Mariners, for whom he played the
first 11 years of his career.
Griffey, 39, is coming off a 2008 season in which he was hampered by
a left knee injury. Doctors had to drain the knee on three occasions;
he underwent arthroscopic surgery in October in order to be ready for
In the final season of a nine-year $116.5 million deal signed prior
to 2000, Griffey’s production declined from a 2007 campaign which saw
him hit .277 with 30 homers and 93 RBI. Cincinnati dealt Griffey to the
White Sox in a July trade deadline deal.
In 102 games with the Reds prior to the trade, Griffey hit .245 with
15 homers and 53 RBI. For the White Sox, Griffey hit .260 in 41
contests, but with just three homers and 18 RBI. Chicago declined the
$16.5 million option, making Griffey a free-agent.
Atlanta has Matt Diaz returning from a knee surgery that took
much of the 2008 season away from him. Diaz has served Atlanta
primarily as a platoon left fielder since being acquired in a trade
from the Kansas City Royals in 2006.
The presence of Diaz, who combined to hit .333 in 655 at-bats during
2006 and 2007, would allow manager Bobby Cox to give Griffey regular
Diaz hit just .244 in 43 games last season. He suffered a torn PCL
ligament in his left knee while attempting to make a diving catch
against the Milwaukee Brewers on May 27. He returned to the lineup in
Atlanta’s final game of the season and went 0-for-3.