Atlanta Braves Dodge Another Bullet
Yes, I would have liked to have had Griffey on our roster in 2009. I even wrote about how he would "look good with a tomahawk across his chest." Logically though, the Braves would have hurt themselves with a signing of Ken Griffey Jr.
The main interest I had with Griffey was the leadership and veteran's experience he brought to the table. Could he have been a decent hitter? It's a good possibility, but it wasn't the reason I wanted him.
The only "loss" the Braves had this offseason that upset me was Rafael Furcal. I felt betrayed as a fan of the team that helped him get where he is today. I felt used to put it lightly. I really thought he could help the team by providing a lead-off man and a good defensive player in the infield.
Losing Griffey is one of those things where yes it probably should hurt, but in reality it doesn't. It's a good story to see Griffey go back to where he started his hall-of-fame worthy career.
Seattle is the city that stood by him in the past, and I'm glad to see him go and show respect to the fans that loved him.
Griffey would have struggled to beat out young Braves outfielders like Josh Anderson, Jordan Schaefer, Brandon Jones, Matt Diaz, and Gregor Blanco. I also think he would have been blocking the path for the potential up-and-comers in Jason Heyward and Gorkys Hernandez.
In both the short and long run for the Braves, Griffey's decision will help.
If the Braves go out and sign a LF, I think Garret Anderson could be a good fit. Looking at logic though, Jim Edmonds has played in the NL for the majority of his career. He is a veteran that could be a leader for the club he plays for in 2009. He can play both LF and CF, which could prove valuable for the Braves.
Without signing a player, I think the Braves have the personnel inside their system to put a quality player in left field. It is my hope that Jason Heyward will one day be the every day left fielder. However, for 2009, I'm good with a mix or a selection of Matt Diaz, Brandon Jones, and Josh Anderson.
Now, if Tom Glavine can decide to play elsewhere in 2009 or retire, the Braves can avoid the final bullet this offseason and save some money for a midseason trade.
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