Ken Griffey Jr. signed off on this deal. The Sox have been trying to get him for years. I can remember a few half-hearted stabs when he was with the Mariners, but it really started to heat up in 2005.
My sources tell me that Danny Richar and Nick Masset are being shipped out to Cincinnati for Griffey and that the deal has been approved by both teams.
My concern, and you know there had to be one, is where exactly is Junior going to play? The outfield seems set. Quentin is going nowhere. Neither is Dye. That leaves Swisher in center field. The Sox could move Swish to first base and platoon Thome and Konerko as the DH. Or platoon Griffey and Thome at DH. Or (gulp) play Thome at first and put Griffey in the DH spot. It kind of boggles the mind.
Through 102 games this year, Griffey is hitting .245 with 15 home runs. Not exactly setting the world on fire numbers, but leaps above Konerko. I would expect another trade soon. There is a logjam of major league talent now, so my guess is that Konerko or Thome will get moved.
The Sox have played in the past with a logjam at positions, but it's not likely to stay this way for too long. Ozzie has expressed that he wants to keep as many pitchers on the roster as possible, so there is essentially no room for an extra bat.
Then again, Brain Anderson could be expendable with Griffey in Chicago. I would think that Anderson would stay within the organization, with Junior's contract status up in the air after 2008.
If Griffey were inserted into the lineup today, with Crede still on the DL, I could see this lineup being realistic. With Crede back in the lineup, move the 3B spot up to seventh or eighth place. Depending on how solid Griffey is hitting-wise, I could see him and Thome switching places.
If the Sox don't move another position player, or hitter, I could see Konerko developing into a pinch hitting specialist for the remainder of the season. That's probably not going to happen. The Sox are looking for another top of the line starter for their rotation, so I would expect Thome or Konerko to be moved to make that happen.
With a player of Griffey's caliber, it looks like I'll have a lot more to collect the rest of the season. I'm not about to have a heart attack, but I welcome Junior with open arms. You'll love it here Junior, and you'll wonder why you didn't come to Chicago sooner.