9:03pm: Another interesting item from Bowman:
About a week ago, [Nick] Swisher seemed to be at the top of the wish list. But that was before Griffey called the Braves and campaigned for the opportunity to play for Atlanta.
As more and more information pours out, it really sounds like Junior wants to, and is going to, end up with the Braves.
5:38pm: According to MLB.com’s Mark Bowman, "It’s believed the Braves are willing to offer Griffey a one-year deal worth up to $1.5 million."
The Mariners can probably afford to make a counter offer that beats that number but, as was reported yesterday, M’s CEO Howard Lincoln is less than enthused about the idea of getting into a bidding war with the Braves.
3:12pm: Jayson Stark’s latest article discusses Griffey and Atlanta. Has he wanted to play there for years? The answer to that question is yes, according to Chipper Jones. And Chipper would love to have Griffey in Atlanta as well:
"He’s a guy who can still hit," said Chipper Jones, who would figure to find Griffey keeping him company in the middle of the lineup. "I played with him a few years ago in the [World Baseball] Classic, and he was our best hitter. He’s got a knack for being able to turn it up and prove people wrong."
Stark writes that Griffey has moved ahead of both Garret Anderson and Nick Swisher on the Braves’ list, and points out that Junior can still hit righties very well, making him an ideal platoon candidate with Matt Diaz.
"It appears likely that Griffey and [Garret] Anderson will wind up in Atlanta and Seattle. The big question at this point is which player will end up with which team."
While Griffey lives in Orlando and has a daughter playing AAU basketball in Georgia, Anderson is a resident of Southern California with more recent success in the AL West. Still, Heyman notes Griffey is the prize here because of the draw he brings to the stadium, a draw that would even allow the M’s to stretch their budget for the added revenue Griffey brings in.