Yesterday when I posted that the White Sox had made the trade for Ken Griffey, Jr, at the time, we had no idea who was included or what position they intended for him to play. And from the articles that I've read about why it took so long for Griffey to approve the trade, he didn't know either. He seems to be reluctant to play CF, the one position on the White Sox where they could probably play him. But some convincing by Kenny Williams and Griffey appears to be ok with it. Unfortunately, if you're a Sox fan, you shouldn't be.
At this point in his career, Griffey is a butcher in CF. Actually, he's not much better in RF either, but I don't think the Sox are planning on moving Jermaine Dye to CF. At least, not if they want him in the lineup everyday. Sure, maybe the Sox will put Griffey in RF on days that they want to give Dye off, but Dye has been one of two bright spots for the White Sox offense, and the number of days off he gets for the rest of this season should be limited. But back to Griffey.
Griffey has played only one or two games so far in his entire career at 1B, so at this point, he might be a little old and a little slow to start to learn a new position. 1B isn't hard, but not exactly someplace you want to start teaching a player to play during the middle of a pennant race. Especially one where you're only a half game up on the 2nd place team.
At this point, his best position on this team is at DH, at a spot where they currently play Jim Thome. After a slow start, Thome has rebounded pretty well to start having a very typical Thome season. And while Thome played 1B earlier in his career, at this point, playing everyday there is just going to lead to an injury to Thome, which could be good thing for the White Sox as it could possibly prevent them from having to automatically pickup the option on his contract for 2009. But that would be kind of underhanded by the White Sox and I can't see them doing that. Right?
The only bright spot to this deal is that they didn't give up much to get Griffey and that Cincinnati is paying half of the rest of the money this year and half of the buyout for his 2009 option. But how much are you going to get out of Griffey in CF for the rest of 2008? I'm surprised that Kenny couldn't pull off a trade that involves them moving Paul Konerko or Thome to open up a spot for Griffey, but I also don't see why any team would take Paulie's contract for the next 2 years or if Paulie would want to waive his no trade clause to move anywhere else. Maybe a waiver trade will happen as I don't see any team taking the risk of claiming him off waivers and being saddled with the remainder of his contract.