Speaking from Chicago and the general managers meetings, Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik said the team was 'celebrating' the signing of Ken Griffey Jr. today.
"His influence, his presence, a lot of guys on this club are excited to say they’re playing with Ken Griffey Jr. again next year," Zduriencik said. "His role on the field will be determined in spring training.
"At the end of the season this year, I talked to him about his thoughts, his desires. What he said was he wanted to be a part of this team. He said, 'It's your decision. If you want me back, I'd love to come back.'"
Zduriencik said the relatively easy and quick signing gave Griffey peace of mind and was a part of the puzzle that is the 2010 Mariners team.
"I listen to our fans. They trusted us a year ago and I'd just ask them to trust us again," Zduriencik said. "A lot has to be done, and we’re early in the process. Ken is part of this ball club. He was part of the team that won 24 more games than the year before.
"What Ken gave us last year, on and off the field, was beyond anything I expected. This is a very smart guy, he bought into where we’re going and what we're doing. He knows his role. Ken is a great guy, a fun guy, he loves the Mariners and loves the community."