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obrien-says-no-to-griffey | November | 2007 Articles

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O'Brien Says no to Griffey

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Dave O'Brien of the AJC opposed speculation by Terence Moore, another AJC writer who said Ken Griffey Jr. could be in an Atlanta uniform next year.
Ken Griffey Jr? In a word, no. Braves need someone they can count on for more than 80 games. Besides, if the Reds saw fit to move him from CF, what makes anyone believe the Braves would see fit to move him back there at his age?
I didn't even report the bit from Terence Moore because it was just too ridiculous. If you haven't read any of Moore's work.... well you really aren't missing thing. Why he is given the space on that site to write is beyond me. Most anything he wrote is ridiculous and the comments by readers always point that out, this being no exception. Moore called Griffey "baseball's cheapest superstar". Griffey is a superstar in name only though. His contract has him paid $6 million next season with $6.5 million deferred, however his '09 $16.5 million option ($4 million buyout) is not deferred. Let's just ignore his defense for right now and look at his offense. Griffey, for the first time since 2000 played over 140 games this past season and hit .277/.372/.496 with 30 home runs in 528 at bats. His average and plate discipline is fine, however 30 home runs is going to be knocked down quite a bit by a move out of Cincinnati. The other big problem is that Griffey is not a center fielder any more. Sure, he was once one of the great defensive center fielders in baseball, but at almost 38-years old, Griffey has lost more than a step or two. His defense is like Barry Bonds' or Moises Alou's. If the ball is hit right to him, he'll have no problem handling it, but anything he has to go and get, you'd better start getting the cut-off man ready. Just the defensive down-side of having him out in center is enough to erase much of his offensive production. The lineup will score runs and plenty of them as they showed this past season with a .724 OPS and 138 strikeouts coming out of center field. 1-7 is pretty much set and each of those hitters are at least above-average offensively at their positions. Defensively though, the Braves aren't exactly the most rock-solid team. With a starting rotation that has struggled in recent years, it would be irresponsible and just plain absurd for Frank Wren to go out and add Griffey, who the Reds insist is worth a pretty penny. I have to agree with O'Brien on this one and give a strong "no" to any possibility of the Reds outfielder being acquired by Atlanta.
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