Sunday, June 15, 2008

Griffey with the Rays?

I read on the bottom line that Ken Griffey Jr. was interested in becoming a member of the Rays and has been following their progress this season. As a native of Florida this makes sense -- and for that matter, it should start making sense that the Rays will become a destination of desire many players as Florida is the offseason home for many of the players in the MLB. Griffey Jr. in Tampa Bay? Probably isn't something that the Rays would be too excited about jumping on. Sure he may put a few more fans in the seats and be a great PR guy for two months, but why bring in a aging slugger (albeit one of the best ever) to a team commited to youth. Griffey Jr. at this stage in his career would not be all that much of an upgrade to the talent that the Rays are already putting in the right-field position. With Carlos Pena returning soon, the right-field and designated hitter spots in the lineup would be filled with the following four hitters:

Gabe Gross (.243, 5, 15)

Eric Hinske (.250, 12, 34)

Jonny Gomes (.223, 5, 13)

Cliff Floyd (.268, 5, 18)

That's not great, but here is Griffey's line in one of the MLB's best hitters parks (.248, 7, 30)

To me, that four man rotation that Tampa Bay has employed this season has been fairly productive as an occasional power source in the lower third of the Rays order. It does make sense for the Rays to bring in a big bat if they want to make noise and potentially push to the playoffs for the first time in their history, but if they get that kind of player it would have to be someone that can post a higher average than the group that they have in there right now. I know this is a crazy thing to say with the steriod craze still very much alive, but Barry Bonds makes a lot more sense to me than Ken Griffey Jr. does for the Rays. Bonds would not deplete the Rays #1 minor league system and would probably cost a similar amount. I strongly would urge that the Rays do not deplete their minor league system because in the small market battle, even a couple of players make a big difference in the present and future success of the big league team. I don't hope to see Griffey in a Rays jersey unless the Reds release him and he signs a 400K countract.

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