Claiming that a rebuilding franchise in the power packed NL West needs a 36 year old, injury prone CF who already pouted his way out of town once before, the Seattle Times’ Steve Kelley (seriously) proposes the Mariners go after Ken Griffey Jr.

The timing is perfect.

Ken Griffey Jr. proved this season he still can be Junior.

He played 128 games, hit .301 with 35 home runs and 92 runs batted in. The Mariners, who suffered all season from the lack of clutch hitting, could benefit from Griffey’s .314 average with runners in scoring position and two out.

He proved that, at age 35, he can play a full season.

Sure, he sprained his right foot early last month, but he would have returned if the Reds had remained in the pennant race. After they were eliminated, he elected to have minor knee surgery.He should be even healthier next season.

Bring back Junior. It makes perfect sense.

The Mariners need a left-handed bat. They desperately need pop in the outfield. Imagine a middle of the order with Griffey, Sexson and Beltre. Imagine a lineup that has a guy in center field, not an entire outfield, hitting close to 40 home runs.

Imagine the excitement Griffey would bring to the park.

He may not be the Junior of 1995, but he is much better than anybody the Mariners have playing center field. As hard as Jeremy Reed plays, the catches he makes crashing into the wall are catches Griffey makes in his back pocket.

Griffey, who still has about $38 million remaining on his Reds contract, could be a bridge from the franchise’s first golden age to its next.