Ken Griffey Jr. is the best player in baseball history, and he didn’t even play for a penny-pinching Cincinnati Reds team that just ranked sixth on their payroll list at $21.2 million. The entire Big Red Machine roster made less than half of what Babe Ruth made playing for the Yankees during his career!
The “Ken Griffey Jr. is still no. 6 on the Cincinnati Reds payroll” is a fact that has been around for years. Ken Griffey Jr. was born in 1965, and he retired in 2010, so he would have been 52-years-old at the time of his retirement.
Ken Griffey Jr. will be 53 years old just after the 2022 MLB season ends, and he hasn’t played in a game for the Cincinnati Reds since halfway through the 2008 season. That year, he was dealt to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for Nick Masset and Danny Richard, and he later played for the Seattle Mariners until retiring in 2010.
But, channeling his inner Bobby Bonilla, he’s still on the Reds’ books, with a deferred salary boosting his net worth.
And it’s not simply because he’s in the books. As the penny-pinching organization continues to slash expenditures and fail to obtain high-priced players of any consequence, he’s one of the top earners.
The Cincinnati Reds’ wheeling and trading continues… just to avoid being competitive
“Definitely disappointed, for sure,” Jonathan India said of the Reds’ decision to trade Jesse Winker and Eugenio Suárez. I believe the majority of the men in this room are dissatisfied, but hey, it’s a business.”
India’s and Joey Votto’s reactions: https://t.co/erCmVkI6MR
— Bobby Nightengale (@nightengalejr) March 15, 2022
Despite the fact that the Reds ended 83-79 last season, behind just the Milwaukee Brewers and St. Louis Cardinals in the National League Central standings and falling seven games short of their second straight wild-card trip, they have no illusions about being competitive in 2022.
They sold catcher Tucker Barnhart, one of baseball’s finest defensive backstops, to the Detroit Tigers before the lockout started, and they quickly took up his $7.5 million club option. They released Wade Miley, who had a 3.37 ERA in 163 innings last season, clearing the door for him to join the Chicago Cubs.
According to Bob Nightengale of the Cincinnati Enquirer, general manager Nick Krall remarked after the Miley decision, “We’re matching our compensation with our resources.” “That’s why we decided to make this move today.”
He wasn’t finished adjusting the alignment.
The Reds dealt Sonny Gray to the Minnesota Twins after the league and MLBPA reached an agreement to end the lockout, and then dealt All-Star outfielder Jesse Winker to the Seattle Mariners, who also agreed to take on the full contract owed to third baseman Eugenio Suarez ($11 million in base salary over the next three years).
They got minor league pitcher Chase Petty, outfielder Jake Fraley, right-handed pitcher Justin Dunn, minor league pitcher Brandon Williamson, minor league third baseman Nick Quintana, and a player to be named later in exchange for the three deals (via the Mariners).
Notably, none of the players has a significant salary.
Ken Griffey Jr.’s salary with the Cincinnati Reds
In a 2004 game against the New York Mets, Ken Griffey Jr. finishes his swing for the Cincinnati Reds | Al Pereira/Getty Images
Ken Griffey Jr. hasn’t played in Major League Baseball since 2010, and he spent the final two years of his career with teams other than Cincinnati. Meanwhile, the Reds are, at least theoretically, an MLB team dedicated to winning games… or at the very least competing in them in order to get a high draft pick the next year.
The year is 2022, yet Griffey is now one of the team’s six highest-paid players, due to choices to release productive players (while allowing others, like as Nick Castellanos, who chose free agency over a $16 million contract):
- First baseman, 38 years old Joey Votto has a net worth of $25 million.
- Third baseman, 33 years old Mike Moustakas is worth $16 million.
- Shogo Akiyama, a 34-year-old outfielder, will be paid $8 million.
- Luis Castillo, a 29-year-old starting pitcher, was awarded $7,500,000.
- Tyler Mahle, a 27-year-old starting pitcher, was awarded $5,500,000.
- Ken Griffey Jr., a 52-year-old former outfielder, was awarded $3,593,750.
- Tyler Naquin, a 31-year-old outfielder, was awarded $3,500,000.
- Justin Wilson, a 34-year-old bullpen pitcher, is worth $2,300,000.
- 31-year-old pawnbroker Kyle Farmer is worth $2,250,000.
- Amir Garrett, a 30-year-old bullpen pitcher, was awarded $2,000,000.
Cincinnati still has time to make a difference. There are still plenty of free agents available.
But why would it do that?
Griffey’s significant place on the earnings leaderboard, even though he doesn’t officially figure on the current payroll, has offered no indication that the Reds are prioritizing the acquisition of talent over the reduction of spending this summer.
At the very least, Joe Burrow and the Bengals are still available to Bengals supporters.
Spotrac.com provided the contract data.
RELATED: Ken Griffey Jr. Discussed His Beloved ‘Simpsons’ Appearance
The “ken griffey jr number 30” is a reference to the Cincinnati Reds. Ken Griffey Jr. is still on the team, but he’s no longer the highest-paid player. The team has been trying to cut costs by letting players go and trading them away.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much are the Reds paying Ken Griffey Jr?
A: Ken Griffey Jr is an iconic player for the Reds and they are paying him what he deserves.
Are the Reds still paying Ken Griffey Jr?
When was Ken Griffey Juniors last game?
A: The last game for Ken Griffey Junior was on September 9th, 1995.
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