Thursday, February 19, 2009

Griffey Comes Home

The deal is done...finally! Griffey winds up with a $2 million contract that can balloon up to $4.5 million with incentives. The public relations benefits of bringing Griffey back are obvious for a team with plunging attendance. What isn't quite as obvious to many is the actual value Junior may bring to the team.

While his batting average is not going to be pretty, the key stats to watch are OPS (OBP + SLG), HR & RBI. He produced a .777 OPS in 2008 and .868 in 2007. Keep in mind the Mariners had only ONE player with an OPS over .800 last season, and he left in free agency (Ibanez). So by splitting the difference between his 2007 & 2008, Griffey could have an OPS over .820 and be the M's most productive hitter at a bargain basement price.

For some reason is it very difficult to score when you don't have any power hitters and nobody gets on base. Only TWO Mariner regulars had an OBP over .327 last year (Ichiro & Ibanez). Griffey has done that every year except for 2006 (his OPS was still over .800 that season).

Griffey won't make the M's a contender in the AL West, but he will make things more entertaining and hopefully will keep the M's offense watchable. Mariner fans deserved a feel good story.

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