WHITE SOX ACQUIRE FUTURE HALL OF FAMER KEN GRIFFEY JR.
MINNEAPOLIS – The Chicago White Sox have acquired Hall of Fame-bound outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. and cash considerations from the Cincinnati Reds in exchange for pitcher Nick Masset and infielder Danny Richar.
Griffey, 38, is a former American League Most Valuable Player (1997) and 13-time All-Star. The left-handed slugger hit career home run No. 600 on June 9 of this season, and his home run total of 608 ranks sixth all-time in Major League Baseball history. Griffey has won seven Louisville Silver Slugger Awards and 10 Rawlings Gold Gloves during his 20-year career with Seattle (1989-99) and Cincinnati (2000-08).
“Our intent is to win the American League Central division and ultimately, to win another World Series championship,” said Ken Williams, White Sox general manager. “Adding a player the caliber of Ken Griffey Jr. gives us a better chance to realize those goals. Griffey’s addition gives Ozzie (Guillen) more flexibility. Ozzie has the opportunity to field his best team – offensively and defensively – on a day-to-day basis over the next two months, and this gives us the chance to keep some of our middle of the order hitters fresh and producing down the stretch. I spoke with Ken, and he is excited to be coming to Chicago to try and help us reach the postseason.”
Griffey, who has hit safely in his last 12 games with the Reds (.318,
14-44) and owns a .927 on-base plus slugging percentage in July, is batting .245 (88-359) with 15 home runs, 53 RBI and a .355 on-base percentage in 102 games with Cincinnati in 2008. In 2007, Griffey hit .277 (146-528) with 30 home runs and 93 RBI in 144 games with the Reds.
Griffey, who is expected to join the White Sox Friday in Kansas City, is signed through 2008 with a club option for 2009. He will wear uniform No. 17.
Over his career, Griffey has hit .288 (2,646-9,185) with 608 home runs and 1,754 RBI in 2,480 games. Currently 354 hits shy of 3,000 for his career, Griffey is one extra-base hit behind Ty Cobb (1,140) for 10th on the all-time list and ranks 16th in RBI. Griffey leads all active major leaguers in home runs, multihomer games (55), hits, total bases (5,039), runs (1,596) and extra-base hits (1,139).
Griffey has led the league in home runs four times and has topped 50 home runs in a season twice, hitting 56 with Seattle in 1997 and 1998. He led the league in RBI in 1997 with a career-high 147 and has topped 100 RBI eight times. A member of baseball’s All-Century Team, he has homered in 43 ballparks over his career (including all existing) to tie for second most all-time.
Masset was 1-0 with one save and a 4.63 ERA (23 ER/44.2 IP) in 32 games with the White Sox in 2008. The 26-year-old right-hander is 3-3 with one save and a 5.63 ERA (58 ER/92.2 IP) in 67 career games in the major leagues with Texas (2006) and the White Sox (2007-08).
Richar, 25, is hitting .262 with nine home runs, 39 RBI and 11 stolen b