That's good for them, and it's also good for Griffey.
Mariners president Chuck Armstrong said today that while some of the incentives in Griffey's contract are based on games played, others are based on the Mariners' season attendance.
Armstrong said that ticket sales have taken a hit this winter, after Seattle lost 101 games in a terribly disappointing 2008 season. He said that most fans who haven't renewed season tickets have cited the economy rather than the team's struggles, but the M's still think the Griffey signing will make a big difference.
"Our marketing guy, Bob Aylward, said if we signed him two months ago, we'd have sold a lot more tickets," Armstrong said.
The Mariners have also been selling Griffey jerseys, which are now prominently displayed on the team's website . As expected, Griffey will wear No. 24, the same number he wore when he previously played for the Mariners.
"When I went to Cincinnati, I wore 30 in honor of my dad," Griffey said. "Then I wore 3 for my son (Trey). But on my daughter's basketball team, she wears 24."
How good a player can Griffey be at age 39?
Hard to say. He wasn't all that good last year at 38, but he played most of the year with ligament tears in his left knee. He had surgery last fall, and agent Brian Goldberg said that Dr. Tim Kremchek believes Griffey will be able to play the way he did four years ago.
"I'd take having him play the way he did two years ago, because 2007 was a pretty good year for him," Goldberg said.
Griffey hit .277 with 30 home runs and 93 RBIs for the 2007 Reds.
Mariners manager Don Wakamatsu has stayed away from saying exactly how he'll use Griffey. It's expected that Griffey will play the outfield as much as he can, with the possibility open that he could be the designated hitter.