Ken Griffey Jr. has options now, something he hasn't had all winter, and he continues to mull them over – Atlanta or Seattle.
This much is certain, it won't come down to money. Junior has enough to buy Iceland. With absolutely no facts for support, here's my thinking: Griffey will be a Brave within a day or two.
If it goes that way, it will be no reflection on the Northwest or the Mariners. He was certainly willing to come here. It will come down to other factors, some of them well-documented.
Griffey still wants to play in the field, not just DH.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to The News Tribune
Atlanta trains near his home in Orlando, Fl.
And the Seattle Mariners haven't gone after him with much passion.
That's no knock on GM Jack Zduriencik, who played his hand well in this game. The truth, however, is that the Mariners could have signed Junior at any time during the last few months. They didn't. They let the market settle. They talked it over internally, and with Griffey's agent, Brian Goldberg.
It was never personal, always business.
We won't know until Junior makes his decision, but my feeling is that if Griffey signs with Atlanta, the Mariners won't spend a moment second-guessing themselves.
Junior would have been a part-time DH in Seattle, a role he's reluctant to embrace. He would have joined a rebuilding team that, even if it plays well in 2009, will continue to rebuild.
If the team is on pace for a .500 season in July, for instance, it's likely Zduriencik will trade veteran players who can bring a return of talent for the future. And playing on a .500 pace would be an immense leap from last year.
Junior would've been an intriguing piece here, but never the difference maker. If he signs in Seattle, it could be a wonderful story or one that's hard to watch for all of us who love The Kid.
He hasn't made up his mind just yet. But if he's looking for a team that's genuinely enthused about him, Atlanta is probably the right call.