M’s To Sign Figgins?

Dave · December 4, 2009 at 1:32 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

The Mariners are reportedly really close to signing Chone Figgins to a 4 year, ~$35 million contract. I’m pushing this out now because, while the deal isn’t done, I may not be around much this weekend, and the details aren’t likely to change much by the time it becomes official. Unless, of course, it doesn’t become official, in which case, BOOOOO.

There’s going to be a lot of discussion about this move as we go forward, and I know people will have different views of the signing. Here’s my quick take – we’ll do a full analysis at some point next week, when I have a bit more time.

Figgins projects as a +3 to +4 win player for 2010. Like signing Beltre, this will have the appearance of paying for a career year, but you don’t need him to come anywhere close to his 2009 numbers to justify the contract. At this price, the M’s have built in a lot of regression from his performance last year. $9 million a year is about what an average player signs for, and Figgins is a better than average player. The M’s are not paying Figgins like they expect him to have another +6 win season. So don’t get too upset about the fact that he just had a career year. They know that, and he’s not being paid like that performance is sustainable.

In terms of dollars per win, this is not the most efficient move they could have made. No matter what position he ends up playing, they had a younger player who could have produced 50-75 percent of the value for 5 percent of the cost. Given how much time we have spent over the years arguing for efficient spending, I get that it may be seen as a bit confusing that we are now in favor of a move that does not maximize dollars per win.

However, as we talked about earlier this off-season, the M’s are in a position where they have to consolidate value. They have a ton of decent, cheap, role players, but by going with those players at each spot, they limit the team’s upside to the point that a playoff berth becomes unlikely. Figgins consolidates value into one line-up spot, raising the upside of the team and increasing their odds of playing in October. This provides tangible value.

At the same time, Figgins versatility also significantly decreases the risk. He is the human form of diversification, offering the ability to play third, second, or left field, giving the team the ability to let Tui, Saunders, Lopez, Hannahan, and Hall earn playing time with improved performances. The ability to handle multiple positions makes all of the young players more valuable, because the risk of any of them killing the team with a terrible performance is mitigated – Figgins could replace any of them, giving the team options if Tui hits and Saunders doesn’t or vice versa.

When you get a guy who can simultaneously increase the upside and decrease the risk, you’ve got a valuable asset. As a player, Figgins is a great fit for this roster and ballpark. He’s coming at a price below what you would generally expect to pay for a +3 win player, and the wins he adds are more important in helping the M’s push toward a playoff spot, raising the marginal value of those wins (wins 80-90 are more important than 70-79 or 91-100).

He also has the type of skillset that ages well (despite claims to the contrary, fast guys are effective later into their careers than slow guys), and gives the M’s a significant offensive boost while maintaining their elite defense.

Overall, this is a good deal. It makes the team better at a below market price, increases the options the team has going forward, and allows them to give the young kids a shot to prove themselves without exposing the team to too much risk. Losing the first round pick is a blow, but it’s not a big enough one to offset the value Figgins is providing at this price.

This a good move for the M’s. Welcome to Seattle, Chone. (Assuming this gets done.)

Comments

86 Responses to “M’s To Sign Figgins?”

  1. Carson on December 4th, 2009 1:44 pm

    Can we blame you for jinxing us if Arte decides to open the wallet?

    Kidding. Thanks for the post, so we don’t kill the mods and your inbox.

    Huzzah (if true)!

  2. heychuck01 on December 4th, 2009 1:46 pm

    Well, if Arte does open up the wallet, that is still a bit of a win, don’t you think? Maybe not the outcome I would like to see, but still, a positive.

  3. Mekias on December 4th, 2009 1:46 pm

    I don’t like giving up the draft pick to the Angels but Figgins is such a great fit for the club and at an apparently reasonable price.

    This gives us great defense, flexibility, on-base percentage, and a switch hitting gap hitter who likely won’t have any problem with Safeco’s dimensions. He hit .317 at Safeco in 2009 and .345 in 2008. Not a huge sample size but there’s no reason to think he’ll fail like the many right-handers before him.

    I can’t wait for the Ichiro/Figgins 1-2 punch. Figgins would be best in the #2 hole due to his patience and bunting ability.

  4. Mike Snow on December 4th, 2009 1:52 pm

    It appears that Beltre is looking for 4 years, $40 million, and since they’re roughly equivalent in value, what the team is saving about cancels out the value of the draft pick they would lose. And changing a righthanded free-swinger for a switch-hitter with plate discipline is a better fit for the ballpark and team philosophy.

  5. Carson on December 4th, 2009 1:53 pm

    Well, if Arte does open up the wallet, that is still a bit of a win, don’t you think? Maybe not the outcome I would like to see, but still, a positive.

    Touche.

    At first I was a bit concerned about giving our first round pick to a divisional rival. Then I remembered we’re picking lower than we have in some time.

    I’ll stay out of the lineup order talk for now. It’s a great problem for Wak to have if this happens, and probably doesn’t end with a wrong answer.

  6. Paul B on December 4th, 2009 1:54 pm

    And getting an above average player for 3 years has a higher expected return than a draft pick.

  7. robbbbbb on December 4th, 2009 1:56 pm

    Did you like Mark McLemore, circa 2001-02? That’s Chone Figgins in a nutshell. Good defense, versatility, and the ability to take a walk and steal a base.

    Great move. I love this move. I’m excited to watch Figgins play at Safeco. He’s a terrific fit for the ballpark, and makes the team better all over the place. And we get him at a bargain price.

  8. stevie_j13 on December 4th, 2009 1:56 pm

    Figgins 2009 BB%: 14.1%
    M’s 2009 BB%: 6.9%

    Looks like Z has targeted Figgins for more than just his glove and versatility, if you ask me.

  9. jephdood on December 4th, 2009 1:56 pm

    And changing a righthanded free-swinger for a switch-hitter with plate discipline is a better fit for the ballpark and team philosophy.

    Well said, Mike. Bingo. And I like it. I want an etire roster of high OBP guys.

  10. Robo Ape on December 4th, 2009 2:07 pm

    I wonder if it actually makes more sense to lead Figgins off and have Ichi bat second. Figgins speed would mean infielders can’t cheat in when he’s on base, pitchers have to throw fewer breaking balls, and the right side of the infield is a huge “hit it here target” for LH Ichiro.

    Of course, all of the same arguments can be made for how hitting behind Ichiro will help Figgins, but given Ichiro’s greater propensity for hitting the ball, a Figgins-Ichiro 1-2 seems like it would make the most sense.

  11. robbbbbb on December 4th, 2009 2:18 pm

    I’m in the midst of reading Tango’s “The Book” right now. And one of the things that strikes me is how small the lineup adjustments are. You can squeeze in a run or two, here or there, by adjusting lineup order.

    For one or two runs, over the course of the season, don’t screw with what works. Y’know? If Ichiro’s happier leading off, then let the man lead off. If he says, “I’d rather hit in the two-spot, because I’m more comfortable that way,” then let him. Playing with lineup order for these two guys is just not that big a deal. Hit ‘em 1-2 and let ‘em go to work.

  12. bronmaderine on December 4th, 2009 2:20 pm

    So, if we allocate $9 million to Figgins, how much do we have left for a long-term deal for Felix? Would signing Figgins and Felix takes us out of the running for Harden?

  13. Dave on December 4th, 2009 2:22 pm

    The $25 million-ish that I’d calculated that the team had to spend assumed Felix got a $10 million salary in 2010. Whether he signs long term or not, his number for next year should be close to that.

    So, this would leave the M’s with about $16 million left to spend. That’s enough for Harden and Branyan, most likely, and then everything else would have to be trades.

  14. Robo Ape on December 4th, 2009 2:27 pm

    Yes, I know lineup adjustments, in the grand scheme of things, are pretty meaningless, but I still think it’s an interesting thing to consider.

  15. Sports on a Schtick on December 4th, 2009 2:28 pm

    Very happy if this goes down. Figgins does so many things well and his style would fit well for this team and Safeco Field.

    Alas, so long Adrian…

  16. coreyjro on December 4th, 2009 2:28 pm

    The general budget for spending money this off season has been set at around $25 million. That includes Felix after arbitration. If the M’s lock him up long term above what his arbitration price was expected to be then that’d count towards the $25 million.

    To be more concise, no. We’d still be in it for Harden.

  17. bronmaderine on December 4th, 2009 2:32 pm

    I feel a deep, deep gulf in my soul due to the inability to positively hate the moves the Mariners are making.

    As a Seattle sports fan I’ve become accustomed to complaining full time about our teams. Now, between the Ms and the success of the Sounders, I don’t know what to do with myself. I could get used to cheering for perpetually competitive sports franchises that do smart things.

    If the Ms ink Felix to a long term deal . . . . I dunno, might cause unmitigated joy. Weird.

  18. gwangung on December 4th, 2009 2:44 pm

    I feel a deep, deep gulf in my soul due to the inability to positively hate the moves the Mariners are making.

    As a Seattle sports fan I’ve become accustomed to complaining full time about our teams. Now, between the Ms and the success of the Sounders, I don’t know what to do with myself.

    You could complain about the absence of the Sonics.

  19. Chris_From_Bothell on December 4th, 2009 2:54 pm

    And changing a righthanded free-swinger for a switch-hitter with plate discipline is a better fit for the ballpark and team philosophy.

    You were talking about Beltre, but if Beltre accepts arbitration and Figgins takes the place of Lopez at second, that still applies… neat.

  20. just a fan on December 4th, 2009 2:56 pm

    The general budget for spending money this off season has been set at around $25 million.

    Wasn’t that just the reasonable and conservative estimate from Dave? Is there anything specific that’s actually come from the club regarding the budget?

    Now, I realize they lowered the budget to $95 million for 2009 from $117 the year before and blamed questions about the economy. But isn’t it plausible that part of it was they figured the team wasn’t likely to contend but they couldn’t just come out and say “the teams gonna suck this year”?

    That inferential bit of speculation on my part makes me hopeful there will be an increase in the budget, unless somebody has a source to say otherwise. Just sayin’ it’s not set in stone.

  21. Kazinski on December 4th, 2009 2:59 pm

    According to Scutaro the M’s were talking to him about playing 2nd. If that is true then we can’t safely assume that Chone is tagged for 3rd. Chone and Beltre would be just fine for me.

    As for who hits leads off and who bats second, since they both have similar OBP that it doesn’t matter who leads off. But in terms of batting second, Figgins has the better skill set because he takes more pitches and that will give Ichiro a better chance to run. Figgins in front of Ichiro would be handicapped stealing bases. On the other hand Figgins strikes out a lot more than Ichiro, so the hit and run works better with Figgins leading off. On the whole though I think it just works out better to have the player with the greater plate discipline batting second.

  22. bronmaderine on December 4th, 2009 3:03 pm

    True, but I’m not a big fan of NBA basketball. The problem with basketball and football is that the games are too simple for fully-developed 28-year-old athletes. Watching Kobe play basketball is like watching high school kids play Candyland. Hoops and football played by college kids is fun to watch precisely because the kids aren’t good enough athletes to out play the games.

    Now, baseball and futbol are different. The game play is incredibly difficult. Hitting a baseball going 95 MPH with movement is HARD. One needs to be an athlete at the top of their game to do it well. This is why watching college kids play baseball and futbol is interesting, but not particularly compelling.

  23. et_blankenship on December 4th, 2009 3:09 pm

    . . . On the whole though I think it just works out better to have the player with the greater plate discipline batting second.

    The Book says a team’s two best hitters should bat 2nd (Ichiro) and 4th (Branyan/whoever). The Book also says that if you have two similar hitters who profile well at the top of the order, you should bat the one that walks more in the leadoff spot. This is because the one that hits more should be batting 2nd to help move the one that walks more further around the bases.

    Of course, Ichiro’s happiness trumps The Book as far as I’m concerned so if he wants to bat leadoff, sweet.

  24. dang on December 4th, 2009 3:17 pm

    So we just re-acquired Willie Bloomquist – bad deal!

  25. striker on December 4th, 2009 3:18 pm

    [off-topic, long link]

  26. ballgamejr on December 4th, 2009 3:19 pm

    I would think that whomever the M’s feel is going to steal the most bases would hit 2nd. If you bat Chone 1st with the left handed Ichiro coming up 2nd, They are not going to run as often with chone as not wanting to close the 4 hole

  27. Nate on December 4th, 2009 3:27 pm

    [off-topic]

  28. Graham on December 4th, 2009 3:29 pm

    So we just re-acquired Willie Bloomquist – bad deal!

    Figgins wOBA (career): .339
    Bloomquist: .291

    Figgins is the player than the Blooquist fanboys thought that Willie was

  29. MsofEnchantment on December 4th, 2009 3:30 pm

    If and when Figgins does sign, we have to find a spot for Tui – package him in a trade or move him to 2B for good or until Ackley is ready. Given that, I’d trade Lopez to whatever team would pay his salary…and if you get something of value in return then great. I know you don’t want to trade someone just to get rid of them, but at this point the savings from Lopez to Tui and the extra roster spot would be better for the team going forward.

    This is especially true if Beltre accepts arbitration, as unlikely as that might be.

  30. ajvis on December 4th, 2009 3:33 pm

    I like thinking about expanding the payroll $5M to sign any two of Delgado, N. Johnson, or Branyan to fill our 1B/DH role. Plus, sign Harden.

    Ichiro!
    Figgins
    Johnson/Delgado
    Branyan
    Guti
    Lopez
    Saunders
    Wilson
    Moore

  31. coreyjro on December 4th, 2009 3:35 pm

    [off-topic; nice retort, though]

  32. Zeke on December 4th, 2009 3:37 pm

    I am not that certain Beltre will pass on the arbitration. So far, reception for his asking price ($10million/year for x years) has been cold. So, a one year deal that will likely be around 13 million might be a better option than the 2-3 year deal at 8million/year. Of course, all these numbers are based on rumors and will need to be taken with a healthy dose of skepticism.

  33. DAMellen on December 4th, 2009 3:39 pm

    I’m sure Ichiro’ll bat first. It’s more of a Mariner tradition than the boat races or that stupid moose. He’s batting first til he dies on the field, Bump Bailey style.

  34. Mike Snow on December 4th, 2009 3:44 pm

    I am not that certain Beltre will pass on the arbitration. So far, reception for his asking price ($10million/year for x years) has been cold.

    What gives you the impression that the reception has been cold? The rumor mill has had multiple teams being connected with him.

  35. Leroy Stanton on December 4th, 2009 3:45 pm

    Striker,

    You’d give Branyan 3/$24MM? That’s nuts! I bet he’ll sign for 2/$6MM when all is said and done.

  36. wabbles on December 4th, 2009 3:45 pm

    OK, so I guess this means that Lopez is officially trade bait? I like the McLemore comparisons. He’s one of the reasons we kept WFB around so long, we were trying to replicate that. Having an INF/OF sub is extremely valuable. I guess that’s it for Beltre too. ‘sigh’ I think Z is setting the table for a Putz-type trade involving Lopez. Stay tuned sports fans. (Can’t remember where that’s from.)

  37. Paul B on December 4th, 2009 3:45 pm

    The Book says a team’s two best hitters should bat 2nd (Ichiro) and 4th (Branyan/whoever).

    I’d suggest taking that book to the used book store and see if you can trade it for something.

  38. Zeke on December 4th, 2009 3:50 pm

    Mike, I agree. However, Olney reported that teams were not too happy about the price tag. I realize these are all rumors and we are discussing possibilities. However, I think that Beltre will end up with a package that is less in value than the rumored Figgins deal of 4/35. And if that is true, Beltre might financially be better of accepting arbitration.

  39. Evan on December 4th, 2009 4:20 pm

    It’s important to consolidate value so you don’t turn into the Toronto Blue Jays of recent years. All the positions filled by average players, so upgrading takes 4 guys.

    That said, my girlfriend will hate this move. She doesn’t know anything about Chone Figgins beyond his name, but she knows I watch M’s games, and she hates the name “Chone”. She just thinks it’s the dumbest thing she’s ever seen – a crime against spelling. Chone Figgins vexes her so.

  40. Leroy Stanton on December 4th, 2009 4:28 pm

    Zeke,

    I think you might be right about Beltre and arb. It’s making me a little nervous. Would Figgins’ (and Polanco’s and Scutaro’s) deal affect Beltre’s arb hearing? In other words, could the M’s use those contracts to support their claim of his value?

  41. et_blankenship on December 4th, 2009 4:29 pm

    I’d suggest taking that book to the used book store and see if you can trade it for something.

    The Book should be required reading for anyone who steps foot in here.

  42. aaron c. on December 4th, 2009 4:31 pm

    I’d suggest taking that book to the used book store and see if you can trade it for something.

    You know that the guy who wrote that book works for the Mariners, right?

  43. dchappelle on December 4th, 2009 4:32 pm

    I’d suggest taking that book to the used book store and see if you can trade it for something.

    Blasphemy! Off with your head!

  44. JH on December 4th, 2009 4:58 pm

    The Blue Jays have above average players. The problem isn’t guys like Lyle Overbay on the roster, it’s the fact that they handed the biggest albatross contract in baseball history to a replacement level outfielder, and he’s locked up through 2014.

    Say what you want about Bavasi, at least none of his awful, awful FA signings tie up money past 2011 (assuming Silva gets bought out). It takes a real man like J.P. Ricciardi to make sure that no amount of front office talent can dig the team out of the hole you’ve dug once you’re gone.

  45. nathaniel dawson on December 4th, 2009 5:00 pm

    I think you might be right about Beltre and arb. It’s making me a little nervous.

    Not sure if Beltre would really care or not (because business is business), but it would seem to me he’d be less likely to want to accept arb if he sees that the M’s already have a player in place at his spot.

    Would Figgins’ (and Polanco’s and Scutaro’s) deal affect Beltre’s arb hearing? In other words, could the M’s use those contracts to support their claim of his value?

    Probably. The arb panel can consider comparative baseball salaries, and the CBA says “Any evidence may be submitted which is relevant to the above criteria”. It would certainly affect his negotiations with the club, and that’s the more important point.

  46. wabbles on December 4th, 2009 5:01 pm

    Well yeah, it could affect Beltre’s arb hearing (if they get that far) because arb awards are based on historical performance and comparable players.

  47. Breadbaker on December 4th, 2009 5:08 pm

    McLemore had two of the most interesting position lines ever on Baseball-Reference.com:

    2001: 756/48D9
    2002: 758/D496

    Figgins in 2004 and 2005:

    2004: 5846/97
    2005: 5857/9D6

    And in 2006, when he was a regular centerfielder:

    2006: *857/4D96

    I’m guessing he could fill in a first if needed, too.

  48. Coolalvin206 on December 4th, 2009 5:08 pm

    Nice, another free agent with no power.

  49. Breadbaker on December 4th, 2009 5:09 pm

    And one other thing, according to Baseball-Reference.com, his full real name is Desmond DeChone Figgins. Chone is a nickname.

  50. The Ancient Mariner on December 4th, 2009 5:10 pm

    JH: iirc, the Wells contract wasn’t Ricciardi, that was ownership.

  51. sodomojo95 on December 4th, 2009 5:10 pm

    Although we would give up the 17th pick in the draft (potentially giving the Angels a Josh Fields-type player), I feel the gain in a 3+ win player for the M’s and the subtraction of a 3+ win player for the Angels is GREAT news!

    Of course, the Angels probably won’t be losing 3 wins by losing Figgins because they will likely replace Figgins with a Mark DeRosa or an Adrian Beltre.

    Yes, I said it! What if Chone Figgins and Adrian Beltre just switched teams? The Phillies and Red Sox just made splashes by signing Placido Polanco and Marco Scutaro respectively. And since those two teams were speculated to be the big players in the Beltre sweepstakes, Beltre will be looking for some new bidders. Granted, Scutaro will likely fill the SS void in Boston rather than the 3B void that is Mike Lowell.

    Also, I think it would be great fun to see Figgins, Gutierrez, and Ichiro! track down fly balls in the outfield. That would be an incredible outfield with a ridiculous amount of speed and range!

    So in that regard, I hope Beltre accepts arbitration so we can push Figgins to the outfield and utilize his speed!

  52. The Ancient Mariner on December 4th, 2009 5:11 pm

    Coolalvin: who the frack cares? The point is good ballplayers, not one particular tool.

  53. Leroy Stanton on December 4th, 2009 5:12 pm

    So it could be an interesting year for arbitration. Beltre (or other FA’s) will want to use pre-2010 contracts to justify value while the teams will want to use very recent contracts. Assuming, of course, that we continue to see offers coming in low. I’m sure we’ll hear the collusion talk again this year.

  54. Leroy Stanton on December 4th, 2009 5:14 pm

    What if Chone Figgins and Adrian Beltre just switched teams?

    I would be shocked if the Angels didn’t go with Brandon Wood.

  55. joser on December 4th, 2009 5:16 pm

    The $25 million-ish that I’d calculated that the team had to spend assumed Felix got a $10 million salary in 2010. Whether he signs long term or not, his number for next year should be close to that.

    Dave, I could be mistaken, but it seems like your $25M available calculation was done prior to the Johjima decision. If we take the team at its word that they’re not on the hook for anything for him (or at least nothing that shows up in the ’10 payroll), does that increase the headroom by $8M (making Figgins almost “free”)?

    I’d suggest taking that book to the used book store and see if you can trade it for something.

    I’d suggest you read it. You might learn something. From the sounds of it, a lot of things.

  56. sodomojo95 on December 4th, 2009 5:26 pm

    I would be shocked if the Angels didn’t go with Brandon Wood.

    It seems Brandon Wood has been the most hyped prospect for the past 10 years. Or maybe its just the combination of Brandon Wood and Dallas McPhereson. But yes, point taken.

    What ever happened to Dallas McPhereson?

  57. joser on December 4th, 2009 5:28 pm

    Now, I realize they lowered the budget to $95 million for 2009 from $117 the year before and blamed questions about the economy. But isn’t it plausible that part of it was they figured the team wasn’t likely to contend but they couldn’t just come out and say “the teams gonna suck this year”?

    It’s possible, but revenue was down this year too so it’s not like they’re going to be eager to break the bank. On the other hand, they probably also had a little bit of wait-and-see wrt the new front office. I mean, they wouldn’t have had turned over the keys to the franchise if they didn’t have full confidence in Jack & Co, but they presumably had full confidence in Bavasi too and look at the holes he dug. Having a Zduriencik in charge for a full year now it’s possible they’ll feel more comfortable opening the purse strings a little more if the right opportunity presents itself. But the team is still a business, and it’s not like these guys’ other investments have necessarily been doing so well over the past year that they’re in the mood to eat lots of red ink in baseball operations. We may be pleasantly surprised, but I wouldn’t hang my hopes on it.

    And anyway the reality is that it should be possible to compete and win in the AL West with a $100M payroll (even with albatross corpse of Silva’s contract hanging around their necks).

  58. Leroy Stanton on December 4th, 2009 5:31 pm

    What ever happened to Dallas McPhereson?

    I think he and Ryan Anderson moved to Vermont and got married.

  59. joser on December 4th, 2009 5:40 pm

    That said, my girlfriend will hate this move. She doesn’t know anything about Chone Figgins beyond his name, but she knows I watch M’s games, and she hates the name “Chone”. She just thinks it’s the dumbest thing she’s ever seen – a crime against spelling. Chone Figgins vexes her so.

    Tell her it’s the traditional Irish spelling.
    If she doesn’t believe you, make her read Joyce.

  60. The Ancient Mariner on December 4th, 2009 5:40 pm

    The A’s signed McPherson (last week, I think).

  61. joser on December 4th, 2009 5:42 pm

    Nice, another free agent with no power.

    Nice, another new commenter obsessed with “Mo Powah!”

  62. preach on December 4th, 2009 5:49 pm

    Since I know it will come up, and it’s about time I contribute to the discussion, here is the history from 1995-2007 of the 18th pick we’d give up to sign Figgins including highest ML level reached, wOBA or FIP

    Ryan Jaroncyk SS – Out of baseball (AA)
    R.A. Dickey RHP - 5.19 FIP
    Mark Mangum RHP – Out of baseball (AA)
    Seth Etherton RHP – 6.38 FIP
    Richard Stahl LHP – Out of baseball (AAA)
    Miguel Negron OF – .305 wOBA at AAA
    Aaron Heilman RHP – 4.13 FIP
    Royce Ring LHP – 4.44 FIP
    Bradley Snyder RF – .375 wOBA at AAA
    Joshua Fields 3B – .312 wOBA
    Cesar Carrillo RHP – 11.42 FIP
    Kyle Drabek RHP – 3.83 FIP at AA
    Peter Kozma SS – .282 wOBA at AA

    As you can see, though there is talent on the list, giving up the pick seems well worth it.

  63. joser on December 4th, 2009 5:51 pm

    It seems Brandon Wood has been the most hyped prospect for the past 10 years.

    Matt Weiters?
    Stephen Strasburg?
    Bryce Harper? (wait for it, this one is just starting.)

  64. wtnuke on December 4th, 2009 6:20 pm

    Certainly hope this gets done and soon! I had a question for anyone to answer about the terms of contracts. I’ve heard plenty about back-loaded contracts, which seem to give a lot of flexibility in building rosters for the following season. Are there ever front-loaded contracts? It seems to me that this would make it easier to trade players later in their contracts. So if a team only needed one or two guys to make a run the following season, would it make sense to make a contract which puts the bulk of the money in the first 2 years?

  65. Seattleken on December 4th, 2009 6:32 pm

    I think the signing is fine for 2010 but horrible come 2012, 2013. Figgans is already 32 years old on opening day, with his one asset being speed. By the times he is 35 and 36 hes going to be a very expensive backup as a .240 hitter with a .320 OB% and no power.

    Once again the Angels no when to let go of their players when their cost out weighs their future production. Hopefully Adrian Beltre is signed elsewhere so atleast the move only down grades their draft pick 10 – 15 places.

  66. wabbles on December 4th, 2009 6:35 pm

    My impression of the 20 percent budget cut ordered last winter was the ownership was “rebooting” the budget. They had spent $117 million to get 61 wins. They didn’t want to spend $139 million to win 71 games. So they cut it back to $95 million and waited to see what would happen, We got 85 wins (thanks to Z). Now they can pursue those additional wins without going into Mets/Red Sox budget territory. So I don’t think it was so much about economics, just cutting the fat. (Insert Silva joke here.)

  67. gwangung on December 4th, 2009 6:46 pm

    I think the signing is fine for 2010 but horrible come 2012, 2013. Figgans is already 32 years old on opening day, with his one asset being speed. By the times he is 35 and 36 hes going to be a very expensive backup as a .240 hitter with a .320 OB% and no power.

    What projection system is this based on?

  68. Seattleken on December 4th, 2009 6:55 pm

    But here’s a study on the effects of age on hitting

    Graph clearly show the the historical decline in BA from 32 to 36 years old.

  69. coreyjro on December 4th, 2009 7:06 pm

    Historically comparable players to Chone Figgins according to Baseball Reference

    Brett Butler

    Kevin Seitzer

    Bip Roberts

    Seitzer and Roberts apparently stopped getting called, Seitzer a bit too early. Butler was pretty good.

  70. mariners2009 on December 4th, 2009 7:14 pm

    CBS sportsline is reported its a done deal. 4 years, 36 million with an option for a 5th year for another 9 million. If they are right, Woo Hoo!!!! This changes everything…

  71. Shane Snyder on December 4th, 2009 7:32 pm

    I am curious as to what the vesting option is… Like the signing….

  72. Alex on December 4th, 2009 8:10 pm

    I’d suggest taking that book to the used book store and see if you can trade it for something.

    You really need to go read it.

    I learned more from The Book than any other source except for Dave Cameron. And Tom tango who wrote it, works for the Mariners now.

    The chapter on batting order lineups was my favorite.

  73. Wag on December 4th, 2009 8:43 pm

    If this deal does get done at 4 years/36mil, it would be a giant step forward for the Mariners. I still think we absolutely need Branyan at first and a vet pitcher with a lot of upside (harden would be my preference). With branyan back at first, harden as our #2, and chone, I’d be hard pressed to see us winning more than 85 or 86 games (seeing as how Washburn and Bedard and their fantastic numbers from last year are gone)
    To win the AL west I still think we need another hitter. If the money is there I would still like to see Jason Bay. Otherwise, I would like to see us take a shot as Milton Bradley (if the cubs were willing to deal him for not too much or eat a portion of his contract). They were also mentioned multiple times as being interested in him at one point. The Mariners chemistry might be just what Bradley needs to get back to his 2008 numbers.

  74. mebpenguin on December 4th, 2009 9:11 pm

    Wag,

    Read this and this and then please stop suggesting we should sign Jason Bay.

    Thank you,

    All the sane people who read this blog

  75. Jeff Nye on December 4th, 2009 9:20 pm

    I’m looking forward to the new ballpark food next year…The Chone Scone.

  76. Mike Snow on December 4th, 2009 9:37 pm

    How do you pronounce that? (Preferably with your mouth full of one, I suppose, so that it doesn’t matter.)

  77. et_blankenship on December 4th, 2009 10:08 pm

    I’m looking forward to the new ballpark food next year…The Chone Scone.

    Would that scone be fig-filled? A Scone Figgins perhaps?

  78. The Ancient Mariner on December 5th, 2009 7:25 am

    Well, as Jeff obviously knows, “scone” is properly pronounced “scawn” and thus rhymes with “shawn” . . .

  79. lesch2k on December 5th, 2009 11:15 am

    from a statistical standpoint / ussmariner.com standpoint what issues should decide who bats second vs. leadoff.

    Is infield hits / BABIP more important to this decision than flat out OPB?

  80. joser on December 5th, 2009 11:15 am

    Would that scone be fig-filled? A Scone Figgins perhaps?

    Shhhhh, we don’t want the Ichi-roll vendors to get wind of this. Last year we just skated by without getting deluged by Branyan muffins….

  81. Jeff Nye on December 5th, 2009 11:26 am

    deluged by Branyan muffins….

    You might want to rethink your wording…

  82. nathaniel dawson on December 5th, 2009 12:23 pm

    from a statistical standpoint / ussmariner.com standpoint what issues should decide who bats second vs. leadoff.

    Whatever Ichiro decides.

  83. margin1522 on December 5th, 2009 12:41 pm

    Did you like Mark McLemore, circa 2001-02? That’s Chone Figgins in a nutshell. Good defense, versatility, and the ability to take a walk and steal a base.

    I think you could say the same about Bill Hall. Everybody seems to have forgotten about him, but I just like the way he looks at the plate. If he gets healthy and finds his swing again he could really help us in the bottom half of the order.

  84. henryv on December 5th, 2009 3:36 pm
    What ever happened to Dallas McPhereson?

    I think he and Ryan Anderson moved to Vermont and got married.

    Classic.

  85. sodomojo95 on December 5th, 2009 7:58 pm

    It seems Brandon Wood has been the most hyped prospect for the past 10 years.

    Matt Weiters?
    Stephen Strasburg?
    Bryce Harper? (wait for it, this one is just starting.)

    Matt Weiters has been hyped for 3 years, Strasburg for 2 years, and Harper this past year.

    And it was the combination of Wood and McPhereson that has taken up the last 10 years of hype

  86. sonichound on December 5th, 2009 9:55 pm

    Hello, long time lurker and haven’t posted much but I enjoy reading the various opinions. What do you guys think the chances are that they resign Beltre? Branyan? Is Figgins more valuable at 3B or LF? Haven’t really watched him play much to determine how good his glove is but I think his hitting style suits Safeco.

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