Archive for Friday, August 1, 2008

Reds send Griffey to White Sox

Chicago may move slugger back to center field

August 1, 2008

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— Ken Griffey Jr. is leaving home to get back in a pennant race.

The Chicago White Sox acquired Griffey from the Cincinnati Reds on Thursday, hoping the 38-year-old outfielder has enough left to help them hold onto their slim lead in the AL Central.

The Reds sent Griffey and cash to Chicago for reliever Nick Masset and Triple-A second baseman Danny Richar.

Griffey, who hit his 600th home run this season, agreed to the trade earlier in the day. But because of the cash transaction involved, the deal did not become official until the commissioner's office approved it.

White Sox general manager Kenny Williams had coveted Griffey for several years. Now older, it's uncertain how much Griffey has left in his often-injured body and where he will fit in with Chicago.

Williams said Griffey would give manager Ozzie Guillen more options. Guillen has considered moving center fielder Nick Swisher to first base in place of slumping Paul Konerko, but had limited options to replace him in center.

Once one of baseball's premier players, Griffey never has reached the World Series and has not even been in the playoffs since 1997 with Seattle. The trade ended a bittersweet stay with his hometown team - a lot of injuries, a few benchmark homers, no playoff appearances.

Griffey was an All-Century center fielder with Seattle in the 1990s, but his speed and range have diminished. The Reds moved him to right field before the 2007 season, hoping that less wear-and-tear on his legs would keep him fresher and healthier. Griffey could go back to his old position in Chicago, with Swisher moving to first base.

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