Rosenthal: Mariners set to sign Figgins

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Ken Rosenthal tweets that the Mariners are on the verge of signing Chone Figgins for four years in the “$36 million range.” Figgins will replace free agent Adrian Beltre at third base. At some point over the winter, Figgins was vaguely linked to the Yanks as a left field replacement for Johnny Damon despite the fact that he had barely played the outfield over the last few years. That option is now clearly off the table.

For the Mariners, this isn’t a terrible deal. They have a dangerous speed combination of Ichiro and Figgins atop their lineup. I believe, however, that a four-year deal for a 32-year-old who relies on his legs is a bit of a risk. At around $9 million a season, though, the money is right. Seattle is still rumored to be interested in a big bat to drive home the speedsters when they get on base.

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  • ColoYank

    Does Russ Branyan count? I think I read they wanted him back.

  • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

    A 1-2-3 of Ichiro-Figgins-Branyan would be good for them and with their defense, could put them over the top in the AL West.

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      If they re-sign Branyan, that is.

      • jsbrendog

        i dont know how i feel about hiom, i feel like he is the ideal one good season, get paid, revert to previous norms type of guy

        • Ed

          His previous norm is to spend only a third of a season or so on a major league roster, but to perform well (113 career OPS+) when on a roster. I dunno what to expect from that.

          • Steve H

            Could be one of those guys who’s successful in limited pa’s, but is overexposed when thrust into a long term starting role.

        • Steve H

          Russell Branyan 2009 2nd half: .193/.274/.414

          • Lanny

            Branyan is terrible.

  • A.D.

    Anyone else find it a bit strange how much the Mariners are willing to open up the checkbooks?

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      Not really. That’s a very popular team and they have the money. They’re almost ready to compete in the AL West and just need to spend they money.

      They should really go out and sign Lackey.

      • jsbrendog

        oh wow signing both athe angel’s free agent “marquee names” would be hilarious. they should go for an injury high upside guy too if they have the money on a 1yr deal.

      • Evil Empire

        Totally agreed. I think if any of the relevant AL West teams (i.e. not the Athletics) sign Lackey, that makes them the front runner in that division.

      • Steve H

        They should sign Bedard and trade him back to the Orioles…..

      • Zack

        Signing Lackey too basically gives them the AL West- and with Texas young pitching improving the Angels and the best manager ever have a real chance at finishing 3rd.

    • jsbrendog

      see subtractions of jojima and i dont know how much bedard made but him leaving prob helped too

      • Zack

        Beltre: 13.4m
        Washburn: 10.3m
        Batistsa: 9.5m
        Johjima: 8m
        Bedard: 7.75m

        =$48.95m off the books

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Hmmm, that’s a lot of extra coin.

          Let’s knock the Wii down to $175. CHRISTMAS WILL BE OURS!!!!

          Sincerely,
          Nintendo

  • jsbrendog

    they’re slowly and quietly building a pretty good team out in seattle, one that can win that division, especially if the angels dont resign lackey (and obv ifggins) and dont get halladay.

    and if they do, they owe kenji jojima a fruit basket for opting out of one of the worst contracts

    • A.D.

      I still can’t believe Jojima walked away from that contract.

      • sabes

        He got more money in Japan. What’s to figure out?

        • Zack

          because he walked away from 16m over the next 2 years to make 22m over the next 4 years.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Given how badly he was sucking here, and the dim likelihood of him getting another big contract from anyone, anywhere 2 years from now at his current pace of suckitude, I’d take the slight decrease in AAV to swap a 2/16 for a 4/22 if I was Johjima.

            Get the money while you still can.

            • Zack

              I agree he couldnt get it in MLB. But in 2 years he couldnt finish up his career back home and get 6m over 2-3 years?

              • Lanny

                Cant blame a guy for wanting to go home.

  • Evil Empire

    Dammit! Stupid Mariners and their relatively intelligent decision to sign Chone Figgins over Jason Bay. One less landing zone besides Boston for him now.

    • jsbrendog

      jason bay on the sox for a long term contract is a good thing for everyone who is not the redsox

      • ColoYank

        Have to agree, dog, but that left field minimizes the defensive liability that he represents. It’s actually a sensible place for him. (And works for us Yankee fans, too!)

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Personally, I don’t want anyone to sign Jason Bay other that the Sox.

          I’d much rather have Bay and his impending decline stay in Boston, tying up money and a roster spot, than have him walk, be replaced by Holliday, and watch the Sox pick up a pick in the process to boot.

          • Rose

            Jason Bay the new Mike Lowell??

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              No, Mike Lowell has a redeeming quality: He’s not Canadian.

          • Evil Empire

            Depends on how much they sign Holliday for. Small-to-mid market jokes aside, Boston does have a budget that they strictly adhere to, and if their hand is forced to overpay for Matty H, even at something still reasonable like 5/90, than:

            1) I don’t see that putting them over the top in 2010
            2) They will have to make some tough decisions in the future with much more appealing FA classes in the horizon.

            • Rose

              Matty H >>>> Jason Bay

              • Evil Empire

                No doubt.

                But also,
                4/60 >>>> 5/90

                • Rose

                  Ehh…not so sure about that. Not if you’re the Red Sox…they have some money to burn. Their payroll is significantly lower than it can be…and Holliday is younger and better than Bay…so if it’s only 1 more year (thought it probably will reach 6)…I’d look into Holliday a little more.

                • OldYanksFan

                  Didn’t Bay already turn down a 4/$60m offer from the Sox? The Sox don’t really want Bay. Theo values defense. The Sox will go hard for Holliday.

            • Evil Empire

              and there is always the delicious possibility of them losing out on BOTH free agents. How fucking hilarious would that be?

  • http://thetundrablog.blogspot.com/ Jake H

    I think the move is for 1 year too long but the money is pretty low. If the economy comes back in a year or 2 it will be a good deal then.

  • CountryClub

    I hope this is true. I never wanted to see him on the Yanks.

    • CountryClub

      Plus, it hurts the Angels.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WppcSY4SsSk barry

    Matsui anyone?

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      Rumor has it that Matsui and Ichiro aren’t the best of friends. That might not happen. Plus, the Mariners re-upped with Griffey. They’re not about to sign another no-field guy for the bench/DH spot.

      • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WppcSY4SsSk barry

        Matsui>>>>Griffey at this point in time as a DH. Plus besides the Yankees and Sox, the Mariners probably have the biggest asian market.

        • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

          No one’s debating that, but at this point, the Mariners have spent money on Griffey. They’re not about to flush more down the tubes just to sign Matsui. I’d be very surprised if Hideki ended up in Seattle, Asian market or not.

          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WppcSY4SsSk barry

            I understand your points but they could stand to make even more money with Matsui, especially if he helps to make them successful in the AL West. Just seems like a perfect fit to me because it seems apparent that he’s not one of the Yankee’s priorities and he’s not going to be expensive. I mean maybe 1 yr for 8-9M with an option for a second at a similar salary, his returns on marketing would surely pay that.

            • DP

              I’m not so sure you do understand his points

              • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WppcSY4SsSk barry

                im pretty sure i do fool

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          You should see Milwaukee.

          MAD ASIANS, SON!

        • Rose

          Matsui>>>>Griffey at this point in time as a DH.

          Regardless, they already signed Griffey. They didn’t re-sign Griffey to be a pinch hitter…

          They can just sign a solid bat who plays the field and keep Griffey at DH…makes more economical sense.

          • A.D.

            Yeah Matsui is a way better option. So would Thome, Vlad, or putting the money in the bank that they’re paying Griffey.

            The Griffey signing didn’t make a whole lot of sense, especially if they’re going to be spending on good FA to contend.

          • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WppcSY4SsSk barry

            Griffey played 117 games last year and is projected to play 87 this year so he’s not exactly your full time DH at any rate.

            • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

              Simply put, the Mariners have 25 spots. They aren’t going to use two of those spots — Griffey and Matsui — on guys who cannot at all play the field. By signing Griffey, they foreclosed on the option to sign Matsui. Take it to the bank.

              Unless they release Griffey and eat the money, Matsui isn’t coming to the Mariners, no matter how good a fit he is. For a team trying to contend on a limited payroll, roster flexibility trumps the fact that Matsui will possibly pay for himself (although that’s questionable because the Mariners can’t really further penetrate the Japanese market more than have already done so). With Griffey and Matsui, the team would have no roster flexibility at all.

              • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WppcSY4SsSk barry

                Nothing more can be said but that time will tell, but I still think it’s a possibility.

              • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                Sign Matsui, and have he and Griffey alternate between DH and 2B. Each one plays one each day.

                BOOOOOOM, PROBLEM SOLVED.

                ———–

                (Sidebar: Can’t remember which radio show I was listening to yesterday; probably Michael Kay; anyway, a Mets fan called in and said that they should look at signing Shelley Duncan to form a platoon with Daniel Murphy.

                However, this was his idea of the platoon: Since Murphy doesn’t hit righties well, and Duncan doesn’t hit lefties well, the Mets should do the following:

                Against righties: play Shelley at first, and Murphy in LF
                Against lefties: play Murphy at first, and Shelley in LF

                That was his plan. I did not make that up. That’s how he wanted the platoon to work.

                I repeat, I am not making this up.)

                • Rose

                  I’m surprised he was able to think while dialing the telephone number

                • A.D.

                  Wow, just wow.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  In his defense, if there was any team in baseball who would actually do a “platoon” of this type… it’s the Mets.

                  I hereby dub this idea, where you have one or two “flexible” guys you move around from position to position (but still have someone playing every day who most-friggin-definitely should be sitting on the bench) a “Mets Platoon”.

                  The rotating DH concept? (The version where we don’t replace Matsui with a new DH but rotate guys like ARod-Posada-Jeter/etc. through it and play either DeRosa or some amalgam of Pena/Cervelli/Gardner every day?)

                  That’s a Mets Platoon.

                • jim p

                  That’s just stupid. They should do exactly the opposite:

                  Against lefties: Shelley in LF, and play Murphy at first
                  Against righties: play Murphy in LF, and Shelley at first

                • A.D.

                  No matter how you slice it, that could be one of the worst platoons in terms of offensive and defensive production…ever.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  Jim P, I’d like to hire you to be the new Assistant GM of the Mets.

                  Sincerely,
                  Jeff Wilpon

                  P.S. Have you ever taken your shirt off and challenged a room full of 20 year olds to fight you? Because that would be a big plus. We value passion and intensity here at the Mets.

                • DP

                  My sarcasm detector is off due to extreme hungover-ness, but I really hope for your sake this is a joke.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  I wish my radio had a rewind button so I could have listened to it again.

                  “Hey, um, it’s Tiger. Listen, I need you to do me a really big favor: could you please take your name off your phone? My wife went through my phone, and she may call you.”

            • Rose

              He also played 166 innings in the field…which probably won’t happen. That’s really not a lot at all…but for somebody like him it is.

    • Rose

      To play where? They already re-signed Ken Griffey Jr. to play DH…

      Griffey can’t really play the field anymore and Matsui certainly can’t…

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    Seattle is still rumored to be interested in a big bat to drive home the speedsters when they get on base.

    http://tinyurl.com/bigbatoptionforthemariners (safe-ish)

  • ColoYank

    Who’re the Mariners pencilling in at short? They dealt off Betancourt, didn’t they?

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      They re-upped Jack Wilson for two more years last month.

    • A.D.

      Jack Wilson

  • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

    First Jack Wilson, then Griffey, now Figgins?

    The Mariners big spending ways will come back to haunt them. Only a GM as dumb as Jack Zduriencik could have possibly fucked up a job as easy as being the GM of the team backed by the Nintendo millions.

    We’re all going to sit back and watch that horribly constructed Seattle team of selfish, overpaid multimillionaires crash and burn like a jackknifed semi tractor trailer full of dynamite and fireworks on a rainy oilslicked offramp of I-5, and then we’ll kick back and light our schadenfreude victory cigars and laugh our self-righteous asses off, because the Mariners represent the abject failure of all that is wrong with America. They’re why the world hates us, and I can’t wait to piss on their grave when they go 31-131 next year.

    Sincerely,
    Matt Taibbi

    • ColoYank

      Wow, that took a lot of energy and creativity, TSJC. It’s a sign of high culture.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        I give because I love.

    • Rose

      Who’s Matt Taibbi? Sega rep from long ago?

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside
        • Rose

          To answer your question though…yes, it was.

          lol

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Urge to kill… rising…

            • Rose

              How do you do those things though by the way? Where do you go? It’s pretty funny…and I bet it’s somewhat satisfying when you get to do it to somebody…haha

              • Rose

                Nevermind, figured it out haha.

            • ColoYank

              AAAAGH … it’s “The Tony Awards with Hal Linden and Talia Shire.” Change the channel! PLEASE change the channel!

              • Rose

                “I wonder what they watch on television in hell”

                [Click]

                [theme song plays] “There’s a time for love and a time for living…you take a chance and face the wind…”

                [Click]
                [Click]
                [Click]
                [Click]

                [theme song continues…] “…to a brand new life, brand new life, brand new life…around the bend…”

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside
      • A.D.

        He’s also the guy that wrote the Rolling Stone piece about Goldman Sachs being in charge of every economic bubble.

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          Taibbi’s quite the Jekyll and Hyde.

          I’ve read several things by him that are very insightful and poignant. And others by him that are horrendously retarded.

          It’s like he’s two people…

          (insert Sal/Bo/Grant/Lanny joke here)

          • A.D.

            I’ve only really seen those pieces, what has he written well on? Stuff related to Ex-US?

            • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

              Well, there’s this:

              http://trueslant.com/matttaibb.....le-malkin/

              (Although, shitting on Malkin and the teabaggers is practically shooting fish in a barrel, so, grade it on a curve, I guess. Taibbi’s good at writing well about issues easy to be smart about. Whatevs.)

  • ColoYank

    When your real record is 10 games better than your Pythagorian record (like the Mariners in ’09), does that mean you’re winning the close ones and losing the laughers?

    • Evil Empire

      It means you got pretty god damn lucky and you can expect to regress next year unless you improve the personnel of your ball club.

      See: 2008 Rays

      • Rose

        Well ours is 8 games better…what’s that mean? lol

        • Evil Empire

          It means we still played like a 95 win team. I’m sure CMW and Cody Ransom instead of A-Rod had a negative affect on our pythag. Is there a way to figure out a team’s pythag from like, June 30th onward?

        • Scooter

          Means Wang and Claggett gave up a lot of runs against Cleveland?

  • Rose

    At some point over the winter, Figgins was vaguely linked to the Yanks as a left field replacement for Johnny Damon despite the fact that he had barely played the outfield over the last few years. That option is now clearly off the table.

    I understand he isn’t the best option out there…but why hasn’t there been any talks anywhere…including on here…about a possibility of Koko B. Ware aka The Byrd Man aka Marlon Byrd?

    I certainly don’t want him on our team…but his numbers aren’t all that bad…you’d think he’d at least be mentioned…oh well.

    • http://www.secondavenuesagas.com Benjamin Kabak

      Mike looked at Byrd in this post. Not much more to add to that.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Since you mentioned you couldn’t get into the live chat, let me share this with you:

      2:48 Friday December 4, 2009
      [Comment From Neil: ]
      What about Marlon Byrd instead of Cameron? Its seems like one of these years Cameron’s gonna fall off the cliff. What kind of contract would Byrd require?

      2:49 Friday December 4, 2009
      [Reply Mike Axisa: ]
      No, Byrd’s a classic ‘tweener. His home/road splits the last three years are very pronounced, and he’s not good enough defensive for CF and not a good enough hitter for a corner.

      • Rose

        Ahh…makes sense.

        Like I said…I never wanted this option…just was curious as to why there wasn’t much talk about him as at least a possibility. I never really looked deeper into him seeing as how I always hoped he remained as not a possibility.

    • Evil Empire

      Melky Cabrera > Marlon Byrd. I said it.

      • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

        Byrd, career – 2969 PA, .279/.340/.422 (99+)
        Melky, career – 2148 PA, .269/.331/.385 (88+)

        I’m gonna have to go ahead and, uh, disagree with you on that one, yeah.

        /Lumbergh’d

        • Evil Empire

          I suppose I meant that as a projection going forward, with financial compensation factored in.

          Melky also substantially out UZR’d Byrd in CF during 2009.

          P.S.

          I umm … I do believe you have my stapler?

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            Okay, fair enough.

            I will give you this: If Melky takes an incremental step forward, he may be as good as Byrd. Right now, though, Byrd’s better than he is. Slightly.

            • Rose

              But the REAL question is what’s better?

              “The Melk Man Always Knocks Twice!”

              OR

              “Ohh…Koko…B…Ware! The Byrd Man soars one over the right field fence and into the stands!”

              It’s pretty tough…

            • Evil Empire

              In a vacuum, you are certainly correct. Melky WAR’d 1.6 in 09 vs Byrd’s 2.4.

              Melky is quite a bit cheaper but we are talking about The Motherfucking Yankees, so I’m not going to get into that jibba jabba.

              As an aside, 2010 should be an interesting year from Melky. He’ll be 25 years old and coming into his 5th full season in the bigs. We should get a solid impression of what his true capabilities are. If he doesn’t show much improvement next year than he’ll probably always just be a #9 hitter on a contending team.

              • Evil Empire

                or a 4th outfielder.

                • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

                  Or an interesting trivia question 40 years from now.

                  “You undoubtedly remember that Hall of Famer Austin Jackson won his first ring with the Yankees in his rookie year of 2011, but which colorful but eminently forgettable non-great was the starting centerfielder on the first two title teams of the Yankees unprecedented run of 8 straight championships from 2009-2016?”

                • Evil Empire

                  Haha, I love it.

                  Melky’s a lock for a future trivia question already by virtue of hitting for the cycle.

              • Rose

                If he doesn’t show much improvement next year than he’ll probably always just be a #9 hitter on a contending team.

                I think even with any improvements…he’s still a #9 hitter on a contending team…a non-contending team? Now that’s a different story…

                • Evil Empire

                  Depends on how much improvement, no? But you are still correct, its almost unfathomable to imagine Melky bat anywhere but 9th in the Yankees’ A-lineup in 2010. Either something has gone very right with Melky, or something has gone very wrong with the team.

        • Chris

          Byrd had an 85 OPS+ in roughly 1450 PA through his age 28 season. It wasn’t until he went to Texas that he broke out. Not sure I’d go so far as to say Melky is better than Byrd, but there’s not as much of a gap as the career numbers would suggest.

          • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

            That’s a good point. Byrd’s career road split is pretty equitable to Melky’s career overall split, FWIW.

    • pat

      Marlon Byrd =.285/.322/.419 outside Arlington.

      • Zack

        Keep your advance stats out of our hot stove conversations!1

        • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

          OPS? What kind of crazy newfangled stat is that? Did they just invent that?

          Sincerely,
          Tim McCarver

      • Charlie

        thats really not that outrageously horrible

    • http://bronxbaseballdaily.com Matt ACTY/BBD

      Go look at his H/A splits and you’ll understand why.

      • Lanny

        Melky? Who doesnt think hes a 4th OF like Byrd??

  • bonestock94

    Watching good teams rise from the ashes is one of my favorite non-Yankees parts of baseball. Even though I have terrible memories of their Randy Johnson era, I’d like to see a more competitive AL west. Of course they’re not quite there yet.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      I’d love for the A’s to be good again too, but they’re probably still on karmic punishment from the baseball gods for wearing this:

      http://archive.tricityvoice.co.....4/pic1.jpg (safe)

  • Neil

    How does everyone feel about a Dejesus for Aceves, Nunez, and Curtis trade?

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      Interested. Doubt the Royals do it, though. Nuñez and Curtis are probably AAAA guys, at best, so it’s really DeJesus for Ace straight up.

      Ace is good, but that’s probably not enough for KC to bite.

  • Rob in CT

    4/36 seems like a pretty good deal. Polanco to the Phillies had to hurt his bargaining ability. He can’t credibly use the Yanks or Sox to help get the bidding up.

    He’s a good fit for them.

    Re: Branyan – his back is the worry.

    • http://twitter.com/tsjc68 tommiesmithjohncarlos a/k/a Ridiculous Upside

      If they’re gunshy about Branyan’s back, I’ve got the perfect big bat replacement for them:

      Barry Lamar Bonds.

    • Lanny

      Maybe he just wanted to stay out West and beat the team that gave up on him/wouldnt pay his price.