Sources: Braves in mix for Griffey
That Ken Griffey Jr.-to-Seattle reunion isn't a foregone conclusion just yet.
Two baseball sources told ESPN.com early Saturday that the Atlanta Braves are making a late play for Griffey and have begun discussing money with his agent.
"We have interest in several available outfielders, including Griffey," Braves general manager Frank Wren told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution later Saturday.
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If the Braves don't sign Griffey, they could turn to veteran Garret Anderson as a fallback. But sources said that Griffey is Atlanta's prime target, and the Braves are "in the mix'' for his services.
The interest is apparently mutual. Griffey lives in Orlando, Fla., where Atlanta's spring training site is located, and has a good relationship with Braves manager Bobby Cox.
Griffey would also be willing to split time with Matt Diaz in left field for the Braves, sources said.
Griffey is playing in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am golf tournament in California this weekend. After playing a round Thursday, he told reporters that media reports of his imminent return to Seattle were nothing more than "rumors.''
His agent, Brian Goldberg, didn't return calls seeking comment Saturday.
Although the Mariners stepped up the pace in negotiations with Griffey this week, baseball sources said the Griffey-to-Seattle reunion has never been quite the lock that some media outlets have portrayed it to be.
Even if the Mariners were to find common ground with Griffey financially, it's believed that new general manager Jack Zduriencik and manager Don Wakamatsu would have to be comfortable with the arrangement before the team brought Griffey on board. Griffey is also 39 years old and coming off knee surgery, so a physical exam is more than a mere formality.
While the Braves stay in touch with Griffey, they also continue negotiations with an eye toward bringing back pitcher Tom Glavine.
Gregg Clifton, Glavine's agent, said he expected to speak with Wren by phone Saturday. But he said there's no specific timetable for a resolution to Glavine's status.
"We're going to keep talking and keep putting our heads together, and see what happens,'' Clifton said.
Jerry Crasnick covers Major League Baseball for ESPN.com.
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