Ken Griffey Jr. to be inducted into Mariners Hall of Fame

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Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times has the story:

It was only a matter of time, of course, but now it’s official: Ken Griffey Jr. will be inducted into the Mariners Hall of Fame, it was announced today. The induction ceremony will take place at Safeco Field on Saturday, Aug. 10, prior to a game with the Brewers. Junior will join former teammates Alvin Davis, Jay Buhner, Edgar Martinez, Randy Johnson and Dan Wilson, along with late announcer Dave Niehaus, with whom Griffey had a close relationship.

Griffey was selected first overall by the Mariners in the 1987 MLB Amateur Draft then went on to bat .292/.374/.553 with 1,843 hits, 417 home runs, 1,216 RBI and 167 stolen bases in his 13 years with the club.

“It means a lot,” Griffey told reporters Tuesday during a conference call. “It’s something you dream about. It’s the organization you get drafted by, the celebration of your career. It means a whole lot they’d think that highly of me and what I’ve done to be able to have my name up there with the rest of the guys.”

The M’s are sure to retire Griffey’s number (24) once he is inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

J.D. Martinez tells teams he prefers an outfield role

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Free agent outfielder/slugger J.D. Martinez is reportedly seeking an outfield gig, says Michael Silverman of the Boston Herald. According to Silverman’s sources, Martinez’s suitors have been informed that the veteran slugger would give preference to teams that can offer a corner outfield spot, rather than a DH-only role.

That could spell trouble for the Red Sox, who appear to be Martinez’s biggest suitors so far this offseason. Outfielders Mookie Betts and Andrew Benintendi are firmly established at the corners, and prior reports from club president Dave Dombrowski suggest that center fielder Jackie Bradley Jr. is not going anywhere anytime soon (thereby eliminating the possibility of reshuffling the outfield). The DH spot is still wide open for Martinez, who doesn’t seem to be totally closed off to the idea, but any full-time or part-time role on the field is likely off the table at this point.

Of course, the Red Sox aren’t the only ones pursuing Martinez’s services this winter. The 30-year-old slugger has been linked to both the Diamondbacks and Giants in weeks past, and while they have the roster flexibility to accommodate his preferences, they’ll need to clear another massive hurdle: the seven-year, $250 million contract he’s said to be seeking. Both clubs will need to get creative to make such a deal work. The Diamondbacks are rumored to be shopping right-hander Zack Greinke in an attempt to free up some room on their payroll for Martinez, while the Giants appear more inclined to scour the trade market for outfield help than shell out cash for another hefty contract in free agency.