Seattle angle on Griffey
From the Seattle Post intelligencer:
The quest to add more pop to the Mariners lineup may be taking a swing through Cincinnati.
The Reds apparently are more than willing to trade outfielder Ken Griffey Jr., and Griffey's original team, the Mariners, is in the process of checking out the 38-year-old slugger to see if he might be the answer to an underperforming offense.
Duane Shaffer, a special assistant to Mariners general manager Bill Bavasi, was in New York on Sunday to watch the Reds and the Mets play at Shea Stadium and, more specifically, to watch Griffey, who went 0-for-2 with two walks.
Mariners sources say no deal is imminent, but as long as the club continues to struggle, every time a Mariners scout watches the Reds, it will be news.
Entering play this week, the Mariners have a need for a middle-of-the-lineup power hitter (a lefty, like Griffey, would be the best fit). Off the field, Griffey would be a major draw in the city that was his home for a decade. After eight of the 10 smallest crowds in Safeco Field history have turned up this season, the ballclub would have to consider the attendance implications and financial advantages of having Griffey back in a Mariners uniform.
How much Griffey has left as a player isn't clear. He hit 30 home runs last season in 144 games, and has averaged 31 homers the past three seasons. But he has just four in the first six weeks of the 2008 season to go with a .254 batting average.
The story goes on to say:
But there are potential barriers to a deal. Suggestions that he come aboard in Seattle as the designated hitter probably wouldn't go over well with Griffey, who is playing right field for the Reds and wants to play in the field. If the DH job is all the Mariners can offer, a deal probably will never have any legs.
For the Mariners to fit him in the outfield, they'd probably have to shift left fielder Raul Ibanez to DH and right fielder Wladimir Balentien to left.
Griffey is a 10-and-5 player (10 or more years in the big leagues, the past five with the same team) with the right to veto any trade. If no trade happens in the coming weeks, the Mariners are expected to be a serious suitor for his services should he become a free agent this offseason.