Odds & Ends: Griffey, Harden, Guzman

Let's have a look at a few evening links….

  • John McGrath of the Tacoma News Tribune notes that the uncertainty regarding Ken Griffey Jr.'s future with the Mariners could make for an uncomfortable PR situation, given Griffey's popularity in Seattle. We've already heard that Griffey would be open to returning and that the Mariners would not reject the idea. McGrath rightly points out though that it would be a mistake to bring the 39-year-old back as the same middle-of-the-order DH he was this year, since he has hit just .214/.323/.395. If the Mariners do retain Griffey, McGrath says it has to be a pinch hitter and part-time player.
  • After earlier reports that the Cubs might not be interested in retaining Rich Harden, we get a follow-up from Keith Law at ESPN.com wondering what type of deal Harden might get. Law compares Harden to Brad Penny, suggesting that, like Penny, the Cubs righty may not be able to secure a multi-year deal because of health concerns.
  • Bill Ladson of MLB.com blogs that Cristian Guzman is still unsure about playing second base for the Nationals in 2010. GM Mike Rizzo and interim manager Jim Riggleman requested the move, feeling that Guzman "no longer has the range to play shortstop."
  • The White Sox should consider keeping Jermaine Dye, according to Matt Meyers of ESPN.com. Although he acknowledges that the outfielder's declining slugging percentage and subpar fielding make for a scary combination, Meyers contends that Dye is a better fit in Chicago than anywhere else, since he could replace the departed Jim Thome as the team's full-time DH. Dye would like to return and Ozzie wants him back too, but the Sox aren't about to pick up the $12MM option just because it's the best fit for Dye.
  • Corey Brock at MLB.com talks to San Diego Padres' GM Kevin Towers about the focus on speed for the Padres. Towers believes there is such a thing as a "PETCO Park player," and that athleticism is a crucial characteristic for playing in the spacious ballpark. Given this approach, it'll be interesting to see who the Padres might target from this offseason's free agent pool.
  • Baseball America's Ben Badler tweets that the Pittsburgh Pirates' win this afternoon once again clinched the No. 1 pick for the Washington Nationals in next June's draft. The Pirates and Baltimore Orioles are still in the mix for No. 2.

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