A deal that was seemingly consummated weeks ago, was finally made official today.
The Seattle Mariners officially announced the signing of 3B Chone Figgins to a four-year, $36 million contract. The deal also includes a $9 million option for 2014.
My two biggest free agent bust hitters are now off the market. Marco Scutaro, who signed last week with the Boston Red Sox was the other one.
I know I am in the minority with thinking Figgins is going to be a bust. For me, Figgins is Juan Pierre Part 2.
Do I think Figgins will be good for the Mariners in 2010 and 2011? Yes, I do. Do I think he is going to have the year he had in 2009 ever again? No, I don’t.
It’s going to be in the third and forth years of this deal when he is 34 and 35 that the Mariners are going to regret this deal. I believe in those years that Figgins will be nothing more than a high-priced platoon player/pinch-runner.
The reason Mariners’ GM Jack Zduriencik was interested in signing Figgins was because Figgins fits into what the Mariners are trying to build right now in Seattle. The Mariners are building a team around speed and defense.
With Figgins at third and Jack Wilson at short, the Mariners have a vacuum on the left side of their infield. They might be the best defensive left side in baseball in 2010.
Offensively, Figgins will hit at the top of the lineup and he and Ichiro should give the Mariners a one-two punch that will put a lot of pressure on opposing defenses and pitchers.
Figgins in 2008 set career highs in runs (114), walks (101), OBP (.395), and strike outs (114). As Figgins gets older, the strike outs will pile up, the speed will decline, and then what do you have?
You have a $9 million player with little speed and little power–you have a $9 million platoon player.
You can follow The Ghost of Moonlight Graham on Twitter @ theghostofmlg