Michael Pimentel /Icon SMI
Ken Griffey Jr. is in excellent financial shape: His 16-year payout at $5 million per year just happens to begin this year.
However, Griffey would like a job. Agent Brian Goldberg has been calling around, and as with a lot of other great players nearing the end of their careers, the offers aren't exactly rolling in.
The problem is that Griffey tried playing through a left knee injury last year and wound up having a down year, hitting .249 with 18 home runs and 71 RBIs and struggling to summon power after getting dealt to the contending White Sox at midseason. The knee was drained three times during the year, eventually he had surgery, and he is said to be completely recovered now.
Yet, he's still seeking a job in a tight tough market, whether it be for aging players or just about anyone else.
One other possible issue might be the perception that Griffey wanted to stay close to home in Tampa Bay (he lives near Orlando) or return to his Seattle roots. The Rays had Griffey on their list but signed Pat Burrell to a $16-million, two-year deal.
Meanwhile, he remains as patient as possible. "Junior understands the situation,'' Goldberg said. "He's totally open-minded about where he will go.''