Ken Griffey Jr. Could Soon Sign With Braves

An article by posted on February 16, 2009

Mark Bowman of MLB.com believes that Ken Griffey Jr. could soon be donning a Braves uniform.

Still, all indications are that Griffey has certainly made his way to the top of the list of candidates to fill Braves general manager Frank Wren’s need for an outfielder.

Griffey could provide more clarity about his future and reach a decision as early as Monday, when he returns to his Orlando-area home, which is located approximately 20 minutes from the Braves’ Spring Training complex.

The 39-year-old free-agent outfielder, who has also been recently courted by the Mariners, spent this weekend in California, competing in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro Am.

“He’s still got something left in the tank,” Chipper Jones said of Griffey. “There’s no doubt in my mind. When a guy has a swing like that, he can get out of bed and hit.”

Jayson Stark gives a few reasons why Griffey makes good sense for the Braves.

• For one thing, he can still hit right-handers. Even in a down year, when a bad knee affected everything he did, Griffey hit. 272 and slugged .462 against right-handed pitching last season. Before that, he’d slugged over. 500 against right-handers for 15 consecutive years.

• The Braves like his fit against the rest of the NL East. He hit a combined .316 against the Mets, Phillies and Marlins last year — .357 against Philadelphia, .308 facing the Mets and .294 against Florida.

• And, finally, he’d be basically a platoon left fielder (likely sharing time with Matt Diaz) — giving the Braves some upside at a position where they hit fewer homers (six) than any team in the majors last year and ranked 29th among 30 teams in on-base percentage plus slugging, or OPS.

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