Tuesday, November 09, 1999
Griffey online: Winning comes first
NEW YORK Reading between the lines, Seattle Mariners outfielder Ken Griffey left open the possibility he would accept a trade to the New York Yankees the team he reportedly vowed he would never play for because Billy Martin once chased him out of the clubhouse as a child when his father played for the team.
Responding to questions in a sports chat room he hosted Monday night on America Online, Griffey said his first priority was winning, contradicting the trade request he made from Seattle last week, when he said he wanted to play closer to his home in Florida.
Using winning as a criterion, the Yankees must be considered.
I think if you're winning, you're going to like your location, and if you're winning and you like your location, you're going to get your money, Griffey said.
Not surprisingly, Griffey did not list a team preference.
Since his request, Griffey has been linked to Atlanta, but Braves Hall of Famer and current executive Hank Aaron said the Braves shouldn't pursue him based on the cost and that Griffey's Seattle teammate, Alex Rodriguez, would be a better fit.
Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, and I'm not really worried about it, Griffey said when asked about Aaron. It's no big deal.
When questioned specifically about what he thought of the Yankees organization, Griffey said: I have no idea. I'm not in the Yankees organization, and I don't think much about it.
TRADE WINDS: Here are some potential deals in the works at the General Managers meetings, according to USA Today:
Montreal is encountering interest in outfielder Rondell White. The Expos held trade talks with five teams Monday.
San Diego is in a payroll purge mode. Pitcher Andy Ashby, outfielder Reggie Sanders, second baseman Quilvio Veras and reliever Dan Miceli probably will be swapped this winter.
Look for Colorado to possibly swap third baseman Vinny Castilla and probably swap right-hander Darryl Kile at the meetings.
The Mets think outfielder Roger Cedeno is ready to take over as a leadoff hitter if the right offer for Rickey Henderson comes.
KILE OK WITH TRADE: With general manager Dan O'Dowd promising sweeping changes, Colorado Rockies pitcher Darryl Kile knows he might be the next person out the door.
You know when a new general manager comes in, the organization didn't make the changes because it was thrilled with the way things were going, Kile's agent Barry Axelrod said. The natural inclination of anyone who walks into (the GM's) job is to say, 'We're going to make changes.'
Kile's contract allows him to block a trade to several teams, including the New York Yankees, but Axelrod said his client will not stand in the way of a potential deal.
He's willing to cooperate if there is something Dan O'Dowd or the team thinks makes it better, but it wasn't Darryl's idea by any means, Alexrod said.
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