Kenny williams gets bored, trades for Griffey

In a daring trade hours before the deadline, Sox GM Kenny Williams shipped pitcher Nick Massett and 2nd basemen Danny Richar to the Reds for beleagured outfielder Ken Griffey Jr..  On paper, this sounds like a decent trade, but in reality, Sox Nation is mumbling a collective “WTF?”  Let’s take a closer look at the pros and cons of this deal.

Anyone who has watched baseball after the 90’s concurs that Griffey is not the player he used to be, and most notably NOT an every inning centerfielder.  The move all but ensures Chicago’s plan to move Nick Swisher to first base, and mercifully put slumping Paul Konerko on the bench, where he belongs right now, and Griffey will platoon alongside Brian Anderson and Dewayne Wise.  I agree with the logic, but making Griffey play anywhere in the outfield is a very tall order for a 38 year old with 2 plastic hips, a prosthetic arm, and a glass eyeball. 

Griffey’s health has been the chief concern for almost a decade with his owners, and the overall skill set he once possessed has diminished so heavily, people who don’t remember his days on the M’s will only remember a mediocre outfielder who broke his hand wrestling with children.  The house of cards that wore #3 in Cincinnati is always one stiff breeze away from needing season ending hair replacement surgery. 

Although the trade doesn’t really make sense or will change anything for our Sox, there are two sides to every coin.  Every cloud has a silver lining, and this deal may actually wind up positive.  Before I go into the pluses, here are the looming negatives.

Cons

1. Griffey is 38, and has proven to be injury prone

2. Griffey is no longer a Gold Glove centerfielder, can he maintain the spot?

3. Griffey joins a well-oiled-machine at the end of July, will his presence shake shit up in the clubhouse?

4. Griffey can’t pitch, and that is still a huge question mark for the Sox

5. Will Paulie flip the fuck out when he is benched and rally his buddies into negative attitudes?

6. Griffey’s production has been shit. Why did we get him?

All of these concerns are quite legitimate at this point, and each plays out a “worst case scenario.”  If two or more of these factors come into play, kiss the playoffs goodbye.  Enough of the gloom and doom caca though, here are the positive aspects of the deal, and why it kind of does make sense.

Pros

1. Paulie gets benched (bye bye .214)

2. Sox didn’t have to give up much for Griffey

3. Reds will pay half of Griffey’s $8 million salary

4. Griffey hasn’t been in playoff contention in years, maybe this will spark his desire, and production

5. He is still Ken Freakin’ Griffey Jr.

I bold #5 because this will come into play heavily the rest of the season.  I am a firm believer that old superstars, no matter how crippled, disheveled, and harmless they appear, are capable of doing great things when put into the right situation.  These guys have the internal kill switch that never goes away, and I wholeheartedly believe that Griffey can get the job done ala a hobbled Kirk Gibson or Bo Jackson when the pressure is on. The pennant race hopefully inspires flashes of “The Kid” from old #24, not #3. 

If you haven’t talked yourself into Griffey yet, I suggest you do.  I just did while writing this, and am excited to see the South Siders separate themselves from the pack in August.

GO GO SOX

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