Rosenthal: Mariners set to sign Figgins


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.

Categories : Asides, Hot Stove League


  1. ColoYank says:

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

  2. 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.

  3. A.D. says:

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

  4. jsbrendog says:

    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

  5. Evil Empire says:

    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 says:

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

      • ColoYank says:

        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!)

  6. Jake H says:

    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.

  7. CountryClub says:

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

    • 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.

      • barry says:

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

        • 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.

          • barry says:

            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.

        • You should see Milwaukee.

          MAD ASIANS, SON!

        • Rose says:

          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. says:

            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.

          • barry says:

            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.

            • 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.

              • barry says:

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

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



                (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 says:

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

                • A.D. says:

                  Wow, just wow.

                • 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 says:

                  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. says:

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

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

                  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 says:

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

                • 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 says:

              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 says:

      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…

  8. Seattle is still rumored to be interested in a big bat to drive home the speedsters when they get on base. (safe-ish)

  9. ColoYank says:

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

  10. 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.

    Matt Taibbi

  11. ColoYank says:

    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 says:

      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

  12. Rose says:

    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.

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

    • 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 says:

        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 says:

      Melky Cabrera > Marlon Byrd. I said it.

      • 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.


        • Evil Empire says:

          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.


          I umm … I do believe you have my stapler?

          • 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 says:

              But the REAL question is what’s better?

              “The Melk Man Always Knocks Twice!”


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

              It’s pretty tough…

            • Evil Empire says:

              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 says:

                or a 4th outfielder.

                • 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 says:

                  Haha, I love it.

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

              • Rose says:

                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 says:

                  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 says:

          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.

    • pat says:

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

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

  13. bonestock94 says:

    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.

  14. Neil says:

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

  15. Rob in CT says:

    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.

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