Griffey, Mariners agree for 2 years, $2.5 million

March 01, 1991

Outfielder Ken Griffey Jr., who made $180,000 last season, agreed to terms with the Seattle Mariners yesterday on a two-year contract worth $2.535 million.

Griffey, 21, would have been eligible for arbitration at the end of this season. The club's motivation for a multiyear contract was to buy a year of arbitration as a possible hedge against rising and uncertain player salary costs. The club's risk is injury.

Griffey's risk is minimal. Had he not signed a multiyear deal, he likely would have come to terms in the range of $500,000 to $600,000 for this season. Then, if he had continued to file for arbitration at season's end, an arbitrator conceivably could award him a salary in the $1.5 million to $2 million range. That may even be conservative based on the huge yearly jumps in salaries of other major-league baseball players.

* REDS: Pitcher Rob Dibble has renewed his threat to walk out of the training camp unless the club gives in to his contract demands.

Dibble, 26, says he has asked for $600,000 next season, which would triple his 1990 salary of $200,000. He said the club has offered a base salary of $500,000 with incentives -- an offer he rejected.

* CUBS: Chicago made what it called a "final" contract offer to Ryne Sandberg, but the second baseman's agent turned it down in less than an hour.

The sides reportedly remain at least $6 million apart in guaranteed money with one day left before Sandberg cuts off negotiations.

The Cubs' latest offer reportedly would guarantee Sandberg $18 million through 1995, with a club option that would pay another $5 million in 1996. The figures don't include reportedly large incentive bonuses. Sandberg is sticking by his demand for a five-year guaranteed deal worth $24 million.

* PIRATES: Outfielder Bobby Bonilla said he has no immediate plans to reopen negotiations on a long-term contract.

Bonilla rejected a four-year, $16 million offer -- and a one-year deal worth $3.1 million -- before losing in arbitration for the second straight year. He will make $2.4 million after requesting $3.475 million.

* INDIANS: First baseman Keith Hernandez wants to get a second opinion before committing to a back operation that's been recommended by the team's orthopedist.

Hernandez, 37, was limited to 43 games last year as a persistent calf injury sidelined him for much of the season. It was the first year of his two-year, $3.5 million contract with the Indians.

The club's orthopedist, Dr. Louis Keppler, reviewed Magnetic Resonance Imaging scans taken of Hernandez last month at the Cleveland Clinic and concluded that Hernandez is suffering from a herniated disk in the lower back. The condition causes pain that travels down his right leg. Keppler recommended surgery.

* ATHLETICS: Despite a report that Rickey Henderson had arrived at Oakland's team hotel in Scottsdale, Ariz., the 1990 Most Valuable Player remained a no-show. He wants to renegotiate his contract.

A hotel clerk told an Athletics official early yesterday that Henderson had checked into the complex Wednesday night. Phone calls forwarded to the outfielder's room went unanswered.

The A's later announced that Henderson still was absent late yesterday after the disgruntled left fielder missed his second day of practice.

* YANKEES: First baseman Don Mattingly was picked to be the 10th captain in team history. Previous Yankees captains were Hal Chase, Roger Peckinpaugh, Babe Ruth, Everett Scott, Lou Gehrig, Thurman Munson, Graig Nettles, Willie Randolph and Ron Guidry.

Also, right-hander Pascual Perez continued to be absent from camp. Perez is having visa problems in the Dominican Republic.

* TIGERS: Batting coach Vada Pinson, known for his upbeat attitude, was thrilled over news of the cease-fire in the Gulf War.

Pinson's son, 27-year-old Vada Pinson III, is a Army aviation specialist stationed in the Persian Gulf. Pinson has received word his son came through the war unharmed.

"I understand he's been right in the middle of it," Pinson said. "He's doing a job over there, and I'm very proud of him."

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