By John Fay
The Cincinnati Enquirer
BRADENTON, Fla. - It's an annual rite of spring: Speculation out of Seattle that the Mariners want to bring Ken Griffey Jr. back.
The Seattle Times reported that "officials of the Seattle club are believed to have had a number of internal discussions on the matter, including at training camp."
That's a long way from consummating a trade, of course.
But the trade makes sense on a couple of levels. The Reds have one of the lowest player payrolls in the baseball, they owe Griffey $66.5 million over the next five years with a club option for 2009, and the Mariners are looking to add a left-handed power bat.
But nothing is brewing between the two teams.
"I haven't had any discussions with (Seattle general manager Bill Bavasi) on the subject," Reds general manager Dan O'Brien said.
Griffey's agent, Brian Goldberg, was in Arizona Monday watching another client play. "I haven't heard anything," Goldberg said. "I think it's that time of year. This always comes up."
Trading Griffey now would amount to a salary dump by the Reds. Griffey has been limited to 123 games over the last two seasons, so his trade value is limited.
It's more likely that the Reds would trade Griffey sometime this the season, if he proves he's healthy and productive.
CLAUSSEN'S OUTING: Brandon Claussen liked the ending much better than the middle. "It was good to finish strong," he said. "That last inning, I felt like I got my rhythm."
Claussen, the left-hander the Reds got from the Yankees in the Aaron Boone trade, started and worked three innings in the 9-5 win over the Pittsburgh Pirates. He allowed a run on two hits.
He worked a 1-2-3 third, striking out two.
"It felt free and easy," he said.
Last year, Claussen was just beginning to throw to hitters after "Tommy John" surgery.
HAYNES THROWS: Jimmy Haynes, penciled in the No. 3 starter's spot, threw to batters for the first time this spring. He threw a total of 10 minutes.
"He felt good," Reds manager Dave Miley said. "The sharpness wasn't there. He needs to throw more to get that."
Haynes was shut down early in spring training because of weakness in his core abdominal muscles.
The Reds wanted him to strengthen them because he was coming off back problems.
The plan is for Haynes to take today off, and then have another session similar to Monday's on Wednesday.
"We'll make a decision on the next step after he throws Wednesday," Miley said.
UNDER THE LIGHTS: The Reds play their first night game of the spring when they go to Fort Myers to play the Boston Red Sox tonight.
"It's nice to have a change of pace," Miley said. "The guys will be able to sleep in."
They'll be wide awake when they step in the batter's box. The Red Sox will start Pedro Martinez, followed by Curt Schilling.
All Reds starters will make the trip except Ken Griffey Jr.
BIRTHDAY BOYS: Monday was the birthday of Ryan Freel and Reds general manager Dan O'Brien. Freel is 28, O'Brien 50.
REDS / SPRING TRAINING
Players wary when they sign
Encarnacion is opening eyes
Daugherty: Pepper's back in action
Inside Reds camp
GM, agent deny Griffey report
Web logs offer fans' look at baseball
Sheffield could be lost for 2-3 months
Maxiell named second-team all-conference
It's now or never for XU
Women: MU wants another shot at nemesis Kent State
Smith's nudge gives UK boost from Azubuike
St. Joseph's takes over No. 1 ranking
Ex-UC defensive star on the offensive in CBA
Strange new NBA can't feel the love
Bengals' free-agent focus turns offensive
Browns make offer to QB Garcia
Prep storylines are abundant
Prep sports results, schedules
MORE SPORTS HEADLINES
Local hockey update
Sports today on TV, radio
THIS WEEK'S SPORTS POLL
Was Marvin Lewis right to name Carson Palmer as the starting quarterback?
Return to Reds front page...