The Greatest of the 90’s On One Team?
“I know a way we can get Barry Bonds and Ken Griffey Jr. and we won’t have to give up that much.”
George may have been having a hallucination of sort back in the 90’s when he suggested this for comedic purposes, but it is a very real possibility if one team wants to do it bad enough. And Seattle makes the most sense.
Buster Olney suggested in his blog yesterday that Seattle is a perfect spot for Griffey to land. He obviously had his best years there, and they need a corner OF or two, and a DH, possibly, on that second suggestion. I was reading Rob Neyer’s blog yesterday and they mentioned how the Mariners were trying to win now, obviously, with the acquistion of Bedard, and the extension for Ichiro, etc. And I almost forgot about the aging, struggling offense (which hasn’t been “too” bad, but has holes). They may be able to fix the DH slot with Jeff Clement, their number one prospect in the minors who is actually a catcher, as I learned in Olney’s blog too. Or they could go a different route. Wait until Griffey belts his 600th home run and then try and make a move for him shortly after. They shouldn’t have to give up too much as the Reds can deal with the hit and would take pleasure in getting something in return for the “star.” Griffey has a team option I believe next season, and by moving him they won’t have to pay all that money and would get something decent as well.
The other side of this is that, if they seriously want to win now as they seem to be trying to do, they could lure away Bonds from the tv and make a serious run at the Angels. As they are constructed now I have a hard time believing that they make the playoffs. Although I do feel that even after their slow start, they will eventually be in the race, or above .500, a winning record of some sort.
But imagine a lineup with Bonds and Griffey. Maybe they could bat Griffey third and Bonds fifth, slotting Sexson in the middle and hoping that “protection” exists. It may be too late for Sexson, no matter which spot he hits in, or which team for that matter. Or maybe, Bonds fourth, and Griffey sixth, if Griffey wouldn’t mind slotting down a few spots to have him bat where his ability allows him to.
And I understand the negatives to this too. Bonds is a clubhouse cancer. We all know that. But Bonds could be what the Mariners need to make a run at a playoff spot. So cancer or not, he may be a bigger positive. And of course Bonds is over 40 years old now too, so who knows how good he is anymore.
And the negatives to Griffey are; that he is 38 years old, plays in a weaker league, in a hitters haven, and has an OPS+ below the average so far. I expect him to be an above average hitter if he stays healthy, but how much better I do not know. He is not a very good defender anymore “they” say, but maybe Ichiro can get to some of the balls that he does not. And of course, he would be moving to a pitchers park, which won’t help his power numbers, only hurt. Bonds may be the better player at this point, if he has been working on his hitting that is. But Griffey should be an upgrade over whoever they are throwing out there now. And there is no doubt that a Griffey and Bonds combination would be more effective than a Vidro and Wilkerson combo (if you read Neyer, he rips on Vidro all the time).
If they want to win now, then its not all that far fetched, at least in my eyes. This is only valid though if they don’t have to give up too much to get Griffey. But if they want to coast along and win 85 games or whatever, without much help coming from within, then they can do that too if they wish. But I do understand that they may not want a guy like Barry Bonds, and that is completely understandable. But if they get both, then the fans may very much like that, because I know they would love to have Griffey back in an M’s uniform.