(Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE)

Brace Yourselves! The Chone Figgins Rumors Should Come Soon!

There had been small rumblings of “Chone Figgins to the Reds” rumors in the past. Well, look for those to potentially intensify since the Mariners have designated Figgins for assignment as reported by Greg Johns who covers the Mariners for MLB.com. The M’s have a 10-day window in which they can trade, release or simply outright Figgins or he will become a free agent. The trade route appears to have been exhausted as Johns notes in his article.

I’m growing nervous. You know it will happen. The “Figgins to the Reds” rumors? You just know they will.

That isn’t the only thing. This hit my Twitter timeline as well…

[blackbirdpie url="https://twitter.com/BNightengale/status/271088538991341568"]

I sincerely hope Nightengale is not referring to the Reds as one of those “contenders”.

It is true that the Reds have a need on the bench.  Figgins can multiple defensive positions.  The issue with Figgins since he went to Seattle has been the utter abandonment of any offensive skill from his game. He exhibited virtually none while a member of the Mariners.

Scan this table, then look at the last two lines.

Year Tm G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS
2002 ANA 15 12 12 6 2 1 0 0 1 2 1 0 5 .167 .167 .250 .417
2003 ANA 71 270 240 34 71 9 4 0 27 13 7 20 38 .296 .345 .367 .711
2004 ANA 148 638 577 83 171 22 17 5 60 34 13 49 94 .296 .350 .419 .770
2005 LAA 158 720 642 113 186 25 10 8 57 62 17 64 101 .290 .352 .397 .749
2006 LAA 155 683 604 93 161 23 8 9 62 52 16 65 100 .267 .336 .376 .712
2007 LAA 115 503 442 81 146 24 6 3 58 41 12 51 81 .330 .393 .432 .825
2008 LAA 116 520 453 72 125 14 1 1 22 34 13 62 80 .276 .367 .318 .685
2009 LAA 158 729 615 114 183 30 7 5 54 42 17 101 114 .298 .395 .393 .789
2010 SEA 161 702 602 62 156 21 2 1 35 42 15 74 114 .259 .340 .306 .646
2011 SEA 81 313 288 24 54 11 1 1 15 11 6 21 42 .188 .241 .243 .484
2012 SEA 66 194 166 18 30 5 2 2 11 4 1 19 48 .181 .262 .271 .533
LAA (8 yrs) 936 4075 3585 596 1045 148 53 31 341 280 96 412 613 .291 .363 .388 .751
SEA (3 yrs) 308 1209 1056 104 240 37 5 4 61 57 22 114 204 .227 .302 .283 .585
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 11/20/2012.

Hard to believe that the same guy that had a 7.5 WAR in 2009 produced a -1.2 WAR just last season. Talk about regressing.

Figgins owns career splits that show he had previously been effective as a lead-off hitter. He posted a triple slash of .286/.363/.378. This past season provided more difficulty in that spot. Figgins was used in the lead-off spot for 108 of his 194 plate appearances. His slash was a measly .189/.250/.305, and his triple slash for the entire 2012 season was .181/.262/.271.

And we complained about Wilson Valdez and Miguel Cairo.

2013 was to be an important year for Figgins as a member of the Mariners. He was to steal make $8MM. If he were to have accumulated 600 plate appearances, a vesting option of $9MM for the 2014 season would have kicked in. The M’s simply could not take that chance, not that he would have gotten it. As Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik noted, Figgins became expendable. Some M’s fans have felt that way about Figgins for the past two seasons…at least.

When the Mariners signed Figgins to a four-year, $36MM deal (along with the previously mentioned vesting option), I thought the signing was a little screwy. Figgins was known more as a lead-off guy and they already had one: Ichiro Suzuki. Figgins was moved down the the #2 spot for most of his first season in Seattle. That didn’t produce the expected results either as Figgins could only fanshion a triple slash of .259/.340/.306. The OBP was solid in 2010, but the decline was in the making and Figgins could never climb out of the chasm which has now been created.

The ol’ “change of scenery could help him” comment has made it’s way into the Twitterverse. And so has “please, no”. Acutally, one tweet I read said “Please God, no”.

So has “He would add to the bench”. Again, no.

“He’d be cheap.” I know he will be, but, no.

Look. Zduriencik said he called around to try and trade Figgins and no one really seemed interested. At $8MM, who would? With the lack of production by Figgins over the last two seasons, who would even consider giving up their lowest prospect in a deal and assume that salary? Um, no one. Well, unless the Mariners were willing to eat a substantial portion of the salary. Even then the list would be short.

Figgins will surely pass through all the hoops and become a free agent. He will be cheap. The change of scenery has worked on numerous other players in the past as exhibited just last season by Ryan Ludwick. He’s looking for another chance. I understand all of that. Every bit of it.

And for the last time, no. You wanted Valdez and Cairo gone due to poor offensive seasons, but it’s okay to bring in an equally inefficient offensive player?

Just asking…

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