Ken Griffey, Jr. is re-returning to the Mariners, this time with much less hype and fanfare than the initial go-round.
Last year, we waited, we hoped, we prayed, and finally — FINALLY — Griffey and the M’s reached an agreement on a one-year deal. This time, it only took a matter of days to bring him back.
Credit The Seattle Times’ Larry Stone as the first to report the move earlier today. The deal is rumored to be very similar to the one that Junior and the team agreed upon a year ago. Griffey earned a base salary of $2 million in 2009, plus incentives.
The team’s primary designated hitter in 2009, Griffey turns 40 on Nov. 21 and will likely assume a reduced role in 2010. Entering his 22nd major league season, Griffey is not nearly the player he once was, but still commands a presence in the locker room. The veteran was the unquestioned team leader of the Mariners in 2009.
Though many expected Griffey’s initial return to the Mariners a season ago to be his final foray in Major League Baseball, Griffey himself had every desire to continue playing baseball in 2010.
This is a move that will be debated by some Mariners fans, but should be embraced as a positive for a young team that contended for the playoffs in 2009. As an everyday player, Griffey’s performance was suspect, at best. As a role player and emotional leader, Griffey becomes an asset to any ballclub, and especially the Mariners where his voice is trusted by the entire team.