Why Ken Griffey Jr. Is One of the Highest-Paid Cincinnati Reds in 2023

The last time Ken Griffey Jr. played in a baseball game was in 2010 when he was a member of the Seattle Mariners. However, the Baseball Hall of Famer is still getting paid by the Cincinnati Reds. According to Spotrac (per Fox News), Griffey will make $3.5 million with the Reds making him the fourth highest-paid player on the roster. The three players who will get more than Griffey are Joey Votto ($25 million), Mike Moustakas ($22 million) and Wil Myers ($6 million).

When Griffey was a member of the Reds, he signed a nine-year, $112.5 million contract, and he would get deferred payment from 2009 to 2024, which is why he still gets paid by the Reds. The New York Mets did the same thing with Bobby Bonilla's contract as the former player receives a $1.19 million paycheck until 2035. His total payout will be $29.8 million. 

Griffey, 53, played for the Reds from 2000 to 2008. He also played for the Chicago White Sox in 2008 but spent the majority of his career with the Seattle Mariners (1989-1999, 2009-2010). In his career, Griffey was named an All-Star 13 times, won 10 Gold Gloves, seven Silver Slugger Awards and led the American League in home runs four times. He finished his career with 2,781 hits, 630 home runs and 1,836 RBIs with a .284 batting average. Griffey was inducted into the Hall of Fame in 2016 and is one of the three players in MLB history to reach Cooperstown, New York who was drafted No. 1 overall. The other two are Chipper Jones and Harold Baines. 

In 2021, Griffey was named a senior adviser to MLB with an emphasis on baseball operations youth baseball development and improving diversity. "I am humbled to be asked to work with Major League Baseball in this role," Griffey said. "It will be an honor to represent the best sport in the world and to promote our game among today's youth."

Girffey is the son of former MLB star Ken Griffey Sr. The elder Griffey played in MLB from 1973-1991 and won two World Series with the Reds while being named an All-Star three times. He had a chance to play with his son in 1990 when they were both with the Mariners.