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Five Reasons The Reds Won’t Trade Griffey

Posted by Matt on July 6, 2007

griffey-junior.jpg

With the trade deadline just 25 days away there are plenty of rumors circulating around Cincinnati’s biggest asset, Ken Griffey, Junior. Junior is having a career year, at least in his career in Cincinnati, with a .293 batting average, 22 home runs, 57 RBIs, and 47 runs scored. Junior was recently named to his 13th All Star team and will be a starter for the National League squad, receiving more votes than any other player on the ballot. It is no doubt that Ken is still as popular as ever. Even at 37 years of age, Junior will get you a lot in the open market and with the Reds’ season failing, there are plenty of rumors about where he will be headed. With his stock as high as it is, a lot of people say the time to deal him is now before he loses this statistical momentum.

Amidst all of this, however, I do not believe he will be traded and here are five reasons as to why, in no particular order:

  • Ken Griffey, Senior: It is little-talked about yet common knowledge that the elder Griffey is a special consultant in the front office to General Manager Wayne Krivsky. It may not be the biggest reason to keep Junior around but it is no doubt that Senior has some pull with Krivsky and it is no secret that the Griffeys enjoy working together. It will take Senior getting the axe for Junior to demand a trade out and as long as Junior wants to stay, Senior will do what he can to see that he does.
  • The Stat Line: Junior is having his best season as a Cincinnati Red and with a team whose only +.300 batter is Scott Hatteberg, at .302, the “Deads” need all the help they can get. I already listed his statistics through play on July 5th, 2007 in my introduction but let us size Junior up with the rest of the Reds’ roster. Griffey is first in on-base percentage (.395), first in RBIs (57), first in walks (49), second in batting average (.293), second in home runs (22), and third in runs scored (47). Now I realize at 37 years of age, Griffey is not getting any younger but if you are really looking to compete you have to keep your studs around long enough to give your team a chance; nevermind the fact that he is a fan favorite, which brings me to my third point…
  • A Fan Favorite And The Chase For 600: Junior earned a starting position in this year’s All Star game and garnered the most fan votes while doing so (over 2.9 million votes) making it no secret that George Kenneth Griffey, Junior is still one of, if not the, most popular players in the game today. He puts fans in the seats of Great American Ball Park for a sub-.400 team, meaning more revenue despite a losing effort. More revenue means more money that can be spent in Free Agency which can only improve a ball club. This is all, of course, not to mention the fact that Griffey is chasing the 600 home run mark which will further increase ticket sales with each home run that brings him closer to that milestone. He will be just the sixth member of the 600 Home Run Club and with each long ball every Reds and/or Griffey fan enjoys pointing out “had he stayed healthy, it’d be Griff chasing Hank and not Bonds.” More revenue, television time, and overall publicity for the Reds generates revenue and right now that is just what this team needs. If your cash cow is also your best statistical batter then there is absolutely no reason to trade him.
  • The City of Cincinnati: The Griffeys are Cincinnati people. Ken, Senior made his Major League Baseball debut in 1973 and was a pivotal member of “The Big Red Machine.” Although born in Donora, Pennsylvania, Junior spent much of his childhood in Cincinnati and played his high school ball at Cincinnati-Moeller High School in Cincinnati, Ohio. With the entire family there, allowing Junior’s children to grow up around their grandparents, it will be hard to pack the family up and move elsewhere at this juncture; which brings me to the next, and final, point…
  • The ‘No Trade Clause’: Ken Griffey, Junior has a ‘No Trade Clause’ built in to his contract  as well as having that option because he is a “10 & 5 Player,” meaning he has trade veto power for being in the league for ten years, or more, with the last five, or more, being with the same team. Outside of Cincinnati, where Junior would want to play is a limited class and just because there is a list of a few teams he would accept a trade to doesn’t mean the other team can make that deal happen. For instance, it was rumored recently that Junior would approve a deal to the Chicago Cubs to play for his former Seattle manager Lou Piniella on the basis that he has such a strong relationship with “Sweet Lou.” However, just because it was rumored Junior would play in Chicago did not mean the deal could happen as The Tribune is looking to sell the Cubbies and are trying to keep from accruing even more debt so that the team remains as appealing as possible. The commissioner of MLB, Bud Selig, even disapproved of a trade between the Cubs and the the Florida Marlins early this week that would have sent Jacque Jones out of Illinois because he didn’t want the new owners to incur any more debt (although some Chicago faithful will argue that the Cubbies are threatening Selig’s Brewers in the National League Central and he doesn’t want them getting any better). Again, just because Junior may approve a deal to a certain city doesn’t mean the powers-that-be can make it happen. It should be noted, as well, that the rumor since is that Griffey would’ve nixed a deal to the Cubs anyway making dealing “The Kid” to a place he wants to go to a difficult task.

There may be even more reasons not to trade Junior that I failed to mention but I saw these reasons listed as the ‘big five.’ I would also agree that you could make a mirror list of the top five reasons TO trade Griffey that would be equally as convincing. That being said, I am an admitted Reds and Griffey homer but my bias aside I cannot see where, at 37 years of age, you could get as much for Griffey in a trade that would equal his worth in a Reds uniform between his on-field offensive contributions as well as his ability to be a walking revenue generator for the Cincinnati Reds organization.

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2 Responses to “Five Reasons The Reds Won’t Trade Griffey”

  1. Charlie Hustle said

    Other reasons the Reds won’t trade Griffey…

    1. He protects David Ross in the lineup. Ross, at a robust .199 avg, needs protection or the opposition will walk him everytime like Barry Bonds.

    2. Norris “The RBI Machine” Hopper has 112 ABs and 1 RBI. Reds management has a ‘hunch’ that perhaps he shouldn’t replace Griffey in the 3 hole.

    and

    3. Growing weight concerns on the Reds would skyrocket if Griffey left. Standing next to Fat Eddie, Grande Coffey, XXL Stanton, Lard-O Dunn, and Pork Chops Valentin, Ken Griffey looks like Mick Jagger.

  2. Matt said

    HAHAHAHA, touche my friend, touche.

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