In a previous post my fellow blogger Brian talked about how the New York Mets should be wary of Orlando Hudson. I was glad to see that Brian wasn’t convinced Orlando Hudson was the answer because I never thought he was either. Instead I’d like to see the Mets get an outfielder but not Manny Ramirez.  But what outfielder? Ken Griffey.

I would prefer a move to second base for Daniel Murphy and let us see if he can play everyday. As for the money they would have used on signing Orlando Hudson, I would have liked to see if the Mets could somehow bring Derek Lowe and Oliver Perez into the fold or maybe one of them and Ben Sheets. But now that the Mets have reportedly signed Tim Redding and there is still a meeting with Pedro Martinez scheduled, I have to think it’s going to be Lowe or Perez and not both.

So instead that money should be spent on a corner outfielder. It’s be great to get a guy like Adam Dunn but that’s expensive and not really needed. Last season the New York Mets as a team were second in runs scored, fourth in batting and fourth in OPS. That was with Carlos Delgado playing poorly for half the season, Ryan Church healthy for maybe a month, and Daniel Murphy playing as a platoon. Obviously there is never going to be a season where every player is going to be 100% for every single game of the season, but those guys can all play better next season. Even David Wright, as good as he was last year, can improve the Mets offense by hitting better with runners in scoring position.

So the New York Mets don’t need an All-Star or a Silver Slugger. What the Mets need is a good hitter, that can play the outfield. Somebody that is maybe a veteran, somebody that won’t be phased by the New York media and if it is a big name that would make a splash that would be a bonus. The name that comes to mind for me is Ken Griffey Jr.

I know there are some negatives with Ken Griffey. Some people will question his age and some people will question his health. Obviously after the Moises Alou experiment nobody wants to see a lot of money go to an older player only for them to be injured all the time. That’s a legitmiate concern, but let’s be honest here, Ken Griffey Jr. could be a 103 years old and I still won’t compare him to Moises Alou.

Clearly Griffey is not the player he was 10 years ago but he’s still a productive player, who could be even better if he’s truly healthy. Plus, I’d take Griffey at 80% over Nick Evans or Fernando Tatis.

Griffey wouldn’t have to slug 40 home runs or hit .300. Ken Griffey batted .277 with 30 home runs and 93 RBI just two seasons ago. Imagine that either between Jose Reyes and David Wright with Church and Murphy batting sixth and seventh or after Wright, Carlos Beltran and Carlos Delgado with Church and Murphy batting second and seventh. As great as Ken Griffey has been in his career he has never had an offense like this around him.

Griffey obviously isn’t the defender he once was either but I don’t think he’s exactly horrible either. Give him occasional days off and also teach him first base. He can play first base when Carlos Delgado needs a day off, which I think is more often than he got last season.

Ken Griffey would also be a veteran leader, which is one of the qualities the Mets like in Orlando Hudson. Jose Reyes especially could use a mentor. Jose Reyes came into the league having a lot of fun and it seemed like somebody somewhere along the way came down on him and told him he couldn’t act that way and he needed to straighten up. Reyes has a hard time finding that balance between fun and serious. Who knows more about that then Ken Griffey? He came into the league as a fun loving kid that people thought needed to grow up and mature too.

Nick Evans and Fernando Tatis both played well last season but I’m not convinced either can play everyday or even that together as a platoon they would be good. But they both played well enough last year that having them as a reserve for Griffey or pinch hitters makes me comfortable.

Obviously with any free agent the amount of money and the length of the contract is always the biggest issue. I don’t think the Mets should pay a ton for Griffey and I don’t think he should get more than one or two seasons but there aren’t many suitors for Griffey so it could be a relatively inexpensive signing. I’m thinking $4 – $6 million with an incentive-laden contract. The Mets could also entice Griffey with the fact that Seattle is going nowhere and this New York team is probably better than any team Griffey has ever played for, meaning he might be able to capture a Championship ring.

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