For the next 16 years the Cincinnati Reds own Ken Griffey Jr. $5 million per year, it’s all deferred money from Griffey’s original contract signed with the Reds in 2000.
Still, the sure fire HOF is yet to be signed this off season, a bit surprising considering Griffey isn’t in need of more dough and could be reeled-in on the cheap.
I still believe Junior would have been a better sign for the Cubs than Milton Bradley, but the Cubs’ miss is another club’s opportunity, yet who those teams are is still unclear.
The latest reports out of Griffey’s camp say four teams are interested in him for at least the 2009 season.
Seattle is obviously one of the bidders, but after that it’s anyone’s guess.
What we do know about Griffey is he’d prefer to play closer to his home in Orlando, wants to play for a winner and wants a regular deal, meaning no minor league deal or an invitation to Spring Training.
Plus, Griffey could fill the void left from Sean Casey’s recent retirement and the Red Sox will again be contenders for a World title.
Tampa Bay appeared to lose interest with Griffey after signing Pat Burrell, but the Rays would be such a solid fit it’s hard to imagine there’s still not an opening for Griff, if for no other reason than location.
Speaking of which, location alone has the Marlins in positioned to be considered as well.
Not only is the location prime for a Griffey signing, but the organization’s strong personnel efficiency typically fields a competitive team.
And should Philly fall into a post World Series let-down the Marlins are sure contenders in the division against the questionable Mets and rebuilding Braves.
Of course, for years the Braves were included in Griffey trade talk but never appeared to be serious.
Although, Atlanta is about a close as Griffey can get to Florida without playing for either the Rays or Marlins.
Lastly, however, is Houston: perhaps close enough to Florida and a likely contender in the NL Central.
Not to mention, there’s still an opportunity for Junior to once again pal up with his good buddy Adam Dunn, an unsigned free-agent and a Houston native to boot.