Griffey to the White Sox

The White Sox acquired Ken Griffey Jr this morning. I have a one word answer – Why?

Junior is a defensive liability in center field any more, and they have Jermaine Dye and Carlos Quentin on the corners, both of which who are having unbelievable years. Jim Thome is their DH, and will be for the rest of this season. Will they try Griffey at first, where Paul Konerko is playing at a level below replacement? Or will they put Jim Thome back at first, and hit Griffey at DH?

Even when they find a place in the lineup for him, why? Griffey is hitting below .250, with 63 K’s already this season. When he hits it, he hits it hard, and won’t suffer much going from GAB to the cell. But that is the problem – he can’t hit it. Griffey walk a lot, 61 BB’s to offset those K’s, but that brings his OBP up to “only” a respectable .357. He doesn’t bring the speed like he used to, he doesn’t bring the defensive ability he used to, and doesn’t have much of a bat any more. For the team with the second best offense so far in the bigs, I am interested to see what they gave up for him.

I like Griffey, and hate to see him go to the Sahx. Now I have to boo him. But looking at this objectively, if the ChiSox gave up anything more than a Pibber and a bag of balls, this is a complete failure of a trade.

With the details of the trade still pending – Grade: D-

UPDATE: Looks like Chicago gave up right-handed innings eater Nick Masset and AAA 2B Danny Richar. Masset is not much to give up, 40-something innings, ERA below 5, not a lot of K's and too many BB's, he was just an innings eater. But Richar has spent this season in AAA hitting the snot out of the ball for a 2B(.305/.365/.505). Alexei Ramirez has played well this year, and is only 26, but that's a lot to hang your hat on considering they have basically nobody behind him other than Richar. The ChiSox better hope Ramirez stays healthy for a long time.

The talk is that Ozzie is going to bring Swisher in from CF to play 1B, and put Griffey in CF, which makes the most sense of any combination. But they are basically giving up offense and defense in CF for the sake of some offense at 1B. Does it make them better? Marginally. Not enough to warrant forsaking a position in the future to get 2+ months out of an old CF.

Meanwhile, the Reds dump half of a salary hole (Chicago and Cincinnati are sharing his salary next year), and address an organizational need at 2B. Nice work.

Updated Sahx grade: D
Reds grade: B+

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