White Sox Trade for Ken Griffey Jr.!!!

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By the Soxman

As the MLB trade deadline hits today, GM Kenny Williams drew first blood from the Reds in trading Danny Richar and Nick Masset for future Hall of Famer Ken Griffey Jr.  As a 10 and 5 player, Griffey had the option of declining the trade.  However, his desire to get to the World Series, again play centerfield and hit in the U.S. Cellular Field launching pad, made it an easy decision.

Griffey, 38, is batting .245 this season with a .355 on-base percentage, 15 home runs and 53 RBIs in 359 at-bats. Earlier this season, he hit his 600th home run.  While his best years as a player are far behind him, he still represents a marked hitting upgrade over Paul Konerko, who is likely to lose the most playing time as a result of this move. Griffey has a career .379 on-base percentage and .549 slugging percentage.  He’s injury-prone, which is why this move is somewhat of a surprise. Junior signed through the 2008 season, with a club option for 2009.  Depending on how he performs, this could result in Jim Thome’s option being declined, or Paul Konerko being traded after the 2008 season.
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The White Sox attempted to acquire him from the Reds at the trade deadline in 2005, but the trade reportedly was nixed by Reds ownership for financial reasons. The Sox confirmed Griffey will return to CF.  The Sox are set at the corners with Carlos Quentin in left and Jermaine Dye in right. That means Nick Swisher will likely move to first, and reduce the playing time of first baseman Paul Konerko, who has struggled all season long, hitting .214, 9 HR, 35 RBI.

Griffey has not played center regularly since 2006 and has had a noticeable drop in the defensive domination that earned him several gold gloves in the 90’s.  The Reds moved him to RF in 2006 because of his noticeable ability to handle the position. While Nick Masset is not really a big loss, the trade of Danny Richar has implications for the Sox future as both Orlando Cabrera and Juan Uribe are likely to depart after the 2008 season.  Richar has a huge upside and was targeted to be the Sox second baseman of the future.  He was penciled in as the Sox 2007 Opening Day second baseman before injuries took him out of contention.  In 2007, Richar hit .230, 6 HR, 15 RBI, in just 187 Abs.

Masset had become increasingly unreliable as a reliever, posting a 12.00 ERA over his last seven appearances.  On the season, he was 1-0, with a 4.63 ERA and a 1.70 WHIP.   He has a career ERA of 5.54.  The Reds are also believed to be eating a significant portion of Griffey’s salary to make the deal happen.

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Comments

  1. paulmbanks says

    Dave, I know you’ll love the use of trading cards in this trade article..Too bad I don’t have a “Topps Future Star” Griffy to go with these or ’89 Fleer Ultra

  2. Huge move!!!

    Go Soxman and thanks for giving us the inside scoop on the move!!!

  3. I don’t like the move. Another slow slugger past his prime. We need pitching. THX for the update Soxman.

    You are the best.

  4. Heidi Hot Sox says

    Move over Peter Gammons and Bruce Levine! The Soxman is our inofrmation source. I love Ken Griffey!

  5. We know have a superstar line-up!!! If this were 2000.

    I’m faster than Griffey is these days and i’ve got a bum knee.

  6. Bleeding Cheese says

    YES!!!!!

    At least the Sox blocked him from going to the Cubs.

  7. He should destroy the ball at the Cell! Nice update Soxman. How do you do it?

  8. Ya Ya Sox Sisterhood says

    We had to do something to replace Paulie’s bat. Soxman you make an awesome point though on Richar. What will our middle infield look like in 2009?

  9. Mary, Mary says

    I think our defense just took a huge hit. Can Griffey even run anymore?

    I hated Masset. Any clue as to who will replace him in the pen?

  10. The Statue of Harold Baines says

    Alexi is solid at 2B for the future, and if we deal Cabrera…we’ll have to find a new SS

  11. The Statue of Harold Baines says

    Ya Ya Sox Sisterhood. cool name

  12. Grinder Guy says

    Was Griffey the best we can do?

    Heck we can bring back Ray Durham next year to play second and change the outfield wall back to blue so Viagra can be our sponser…LOL

    Kenny you better be the magic man on this one.

    THX to the Sportsbank and our hero Soxman for the excellent break-down.

    Breakdown is a word that will likely be mentioned in the same voice as Griffey… :)

  13. Grinder Guy says

    Harold, Harold– I disagree…

    Alexei is going to be moved to SS, as its his natural position. That was the plan if they traded OC.

    Soxman am I right?

  14. Soxman Stalker says

    I LLLOOOOVVVEEEEE you Soxman! I knew you could break this done for me. I will cry if they dump Konerko. Please say it ain’t so that he’s going to go. He’s just having an off year. You don’t put a puppy to sleep when he is naughty once. XOXO

  15. Mullet Kelly says

    Soxman I love Mullets so I guess I love the Griffey trade. He was soooo cool in the 90’s. A good thing never goes out of style. Go Sox! We are going to the World Series now for sure.

  16. Soxy Sheri says

    Soxman, Griffey is hot, but you are still the hottest guy at the Cell.

    I hope Konerko is not traded!!!

  17. The Gooch says

    Thanks for breaking it down Soxman. You are the best.

    Iguchi in 2009 at 2B!

  18. I’m glad to see Griffey in a Sox uniform. Soxman your article in the Red Eye today did some seem to like the move. Thoughts?

  19. Konerko problem, he is thinking way to much…He needs just to start sitting on fastballs like he did back in the day..He is out thinking himself at every at-bat..

    Griffey is one of my favorite players of all time, but I am 50/50 on this trade, I still think we should have went after Roy Holliday, but that is just me.

    I think Griffey can go on a tear from hell (that would also help my fantasy numbers)

    Peace In The Middle East!!!

    Diddy Out!!!

  20. prowriter0923 says

    I was pretty surprised that we got a player like Griffey but happy to see him in our line up. Hopefully he will stay productive and get us into the playoffs.

    I’m also happy to see Fields back even though I am a huge Crede fan.

    Just thought I would put that out there.

  21. Bleeding Cheese says

    Soxman’s follow-up on his site was a pretty good supplement to this piece. I think he’s not a long-term answer but fills a hole as the sox really had nothing to offer other teams to get a Halladay or even a Houston Street for than matter.

    After this season it is time to clean house and re-build the farm system.

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