Griffey Headed to the Chicago White Sox

Adam LindemerSenior Analyst IJuly 31, 2008

With the trade deadline looming, and the Reds quickly losing ground in the NL Central, Cincinnati sent George Kenneth Griffey Jr. to the Chicago White Sox.

The Reds received a couple minor leaguers: pitcher Nick Masset and second baseman Danny Richar. All of this is pending league approval.

But if the Braves are allowed to trade Mark Teixeira for Casey Kotchman, this should be a done deal as well.

With the White Sox trying to gain ground against the surging Twins, Chicago chose to bolster their lineup in order to create some space.

Griffey is one of my favorite players, and has been since I was eight. I'm glad to see him finally return to the American League. He can now spend time at DH without having to "wear down" in the outfield.

Chicago does have some decisions to make regarding that lineup. Carlos Quentin and Jermaine Dye are pretty much cemented in the outfield, with Nick Swisher at center being the wild card. Swisher could be moved to first base, which might cause Paul Konerko or Jim Thome to get the boot.

However, Griffey hasn't played center in nearly two years. He should play left, as Quentin might be better suited to play center. But it would be nice to see Griffey managing the outfield again.

As much as the DH rule is argued (I'm still on the fence), it works in a situation like this. Griffey could easily be slotted in that position and continue to hit without worrying about getting injured trying to track down a line drive.

He can add a couple years to his career and make up for the lost time with his many stints on the DL in Cincinnati. That was time that cost him a shot at reaching 700 home runs already, and maybe more.

His injuries kept us on Barry-watch, instead of rooting on Griffey to pass Hammerin' Hank.

Griffey's move from Cincinnati to Chicago's south side isn't far in terms of distance, but the White Sox are way ahead in team production. There, Griffey has a shot at returning to the playoffs, and possibly appearing in his first World Series.

That's provided Chicago can get past the Angels and their heavy-hitting lineup. But Griffey deserves another shot, something he never got while wearing a Reds jersey.

How long will Junior stay in Chicago? Who knows? But it'd be smart if he never went back to the National League.

Right now, Griffey has 2,646 hits, 608 home runs, and 1,754 RBI. If he can effectively play three or four more years, Junior will easily surpass 3,000 hits and 2,000 RBI.

Of course, Griffey doesn't need any help getting into the Hall of Fame, but it would allow him to get the numbers that he should have had a couple years ago.

Junior probably won't come close to 757, but I think the 700 home run mark is well within reach. When you think of the greatest home run hitters of all time, Griffey should definitely be in the top four.