It’s hard to find a player with more of an influence on the modern game of baseball than Ken Griffey Jr. The 13-time All-Star Hall of Fame centerfielder hit 630 home runs while winning a total of ten Gold Gloves across his legendary 22-year career.
But just because he was a great back in the 1990s and early 2000s doesn’t mean he should still be among a team’s highest-paid players 13 years after his retirement in 2010.
Only, due to some strange deferred payment contracts we’ve seen in baseball over the years, with Bobby Bonilla’s possibly being the most well-known, Griffey Jr. is still on the Cincinnati Reds’ payroll in 2023.
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Not only is Griffey still on the payroll a full 15 years after leaving the Reds, but The Kid is actually set to be the team’s fourth-highest-paid member on the payroll this year. According to ESPN, Griffey Jr. will be raking in $3.59 million from the Reds in 2023, all because of the deferred payment clause in his contract extension with the Reds dating back to the year 2000.
Griffey Jr. may be 53 years old now, and he probably could still crank a few home runs, but there’s no excuse for the Reds to be in this situation. Don’t they have more than three players who are deserving of a larger salary than a player who hasn’t been in an MLB uniform for over a decade? That’s just pure sadness.
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