The Seattle Mariners spring training clubhouse just got louder - Ken Griffey Jr., as expected, is back in the fold.
GM Jack Zduriencik and agent Brian Goldberg apparently had little trouble working out the details, and Junior did what neither Jack Wilson or Russell Branyan would. He accepted the Mariners offer.
A clubhouse presence throughout the '09 season, when the Mariners made the transition from losing 101 games to winning 85, Griffey's role next year will be diminished on the field.
At least, that's the plan: The Mariners hope to add bats that would make Griffey's .214 average last season a non-starter. What Junior will provide, beyond leadership, is a veteran left-handed bat off the bench and insurance.
"I'd like to thank the Mariners organization for inviting me back to play in 2010," Griffey said in a statement released by the team. "While 2009 was an awesome experience for me, my ultimate goal is for the Mariners to get to and win the World Series. To that end, I look forward to contributing in any role that Don (Wakamatsu) sees fit on the field, and any manner I possibly can off the field."
Next season will mark Griffey's 22nd in the big leagues, and he'll oppen it with a .285 career average, 630 home runs and 1,829 RBI.