While the Seattle Mariners and New York Mets met again tonight to discuss a trade for Mariners superstar center fielder Ken Griffey Jr.--talks that were said to be making significant progress--another development seemed to indicate their efforts were in vain and that Griffey would remain with Seattle.
Brian Goldberg, Griffey's agent, indicated that Griffey--who has the right to veto any trade because of his "10/5" tenure--will accept a trade only to the Cincinnati Reds, who on Saturday announced they had ended trade talks with the Mariners.
"With Cincinnati pulling out and that being the only team [Griffey] wanted to go to," Goldberg said, "Ken will be fine if the Mariners bring him back" for the 2000 season.
Griffey will become a free agent after the 2000 season and, earlier this year, turned down an offer from the Mariners for a long-term deal worth $135 million.
Mets General Manager Steve Phillips acknowledged the Mets' pursuit of Griffey and said the teams have discussed several packages, believed to include three or four players. The key players are believed to be right-hander Octavio Dotel, the Mets' best young pitcher, and Roger Cedeno, their speedy center fielder.
But Goldberg said today that Griffey is upset about Mariners GM Pat Gillick's continued pursuit of trades to teams Griffey has not approved, and that Griffey has "shut it down," apparently opting to remain in Seattle.
Notes: The Dodgers and Cubs pulled off a five-player trade today, with right-handed pitcher Ismael Valdes and second baseman Eric Young going to the Cubs for right-handed reliever Terry Adams, a minor league pitcher and a player to be named later.
Young, who stole 51 bases last season, will bat leadoff for the Cubs, while Valdes will fill the hole in the starting rotation left by Trachsel, who is departing via free agency.
Adams, an impressive 26-year-old with closer ability, was 6-3 with a 4.02 earned run average and 13 saves for the Cubs in 1999.
Late Saturday night, the Mets signed Todd Zeile to a three-year, $18 million contract. Zeile, 34, will play first base, replacing John Olerud, who signed as a free agent with Seattle. Zeile hit a career-high .293 with 24 homers and 98 RBI as the Texas Rangers' third baseman last season.