Griffey traded to White Sox

Jul 31, 2008 - 7:41 PM CHICAGO (Ticker) -- Ken Griffey Jr. apparently wants a final chance to win a World Series title.

Griffey Jr. on Thursday agreed to a trade that sent him to the first-place Chicago White Sox.

As a player with at least 10 years of major-league service and five with the same club, the veteran outfielder had the right to veto any trade. Griffey, earning $12.5 million this season in the final year of his contract, is owed more than $4 million in salary.

"This is an opportunity for Ken to place for a first-place team," Reds general manager Walt Jocketty said. "We hope it works out for him."

The Reds received pitcher Nick Masset and infielder Danny Richar in return for Griffey, who is batting .245 this season with 15 home runs and 53 RBI in 359 at-bats. Earlier this season, Griffey hit his 600th career home run, becoming the sixth member of the elusive club.

While the 38-year-old Griffey is headed to the Hall of Fame, he has won only one of three postseason series in which has has played. In 1995, he led the Seattle Mariners to a five-game victory over the New York Yankees in the American League Division Series, batting .391 with five home runs and seven RBI.

However, the Mariners then fell to the Cleveland Indians in the championship series and also lost to the Baltimore Orioles in the 1997 ALDS.

The White Sox attempted to acquire Griffey from the Reds at the trade deadline in 2005, but the deal reportedly was nixed by Reds ownership for financial reasons.

While the Reds (51-58) are out of the playoff hunt, the White Sox (60-46) currently lead the American League Central by 1 1/2 games over the Minnesota Twins and five over the Detroit Tigers.

"Our intent is to win the American League Central Division and ultimately, to win another World Series championship," White Sox general manager Ken Williams said. "Adding a player the caliber of Ken Griffey Jr. gives us a better chance to realize those goals."

In Griffey's eight-plus seasons in Cincinnati, the Reds rarely contended for a playoff spot. The closest they came to making the postseason during Griffey's tenure was in 2000, when Cincinnati lost a one-game playoff to the New York Mets to decide the National League wild card.

Since then, the Reds have endured seven straight losing seasons and four fifth-place finishes in the NL Central Division.

The issue for the White Sox is how they will utilize Griffey. They are set at the corner outfield spots with Carlos Quentin in left and Jermaine Dye in right, and Griffey has not patrolled center field regularly since 2006.

The White Sox could move Nick Swisher to first base to open center for Griffey, a move that would reduce the playing time of first baseman Paul Konerko and designated hitter Jim Thome.

Konerko has hit just .212 (14-for-66) since coming off the disabled list on July 8.

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