Figgins DFA’d, Five Added

Dave · November 20, 2012 at 7:09 pm · Filed Under Mariners 

Do a happy dance – Chone Figgins is finally gone. The Mariners designated both he and recently claimed Scott Cousins for assignment, clearing them off the 40 man roster so that they could add a total of five players who otherwise would have been eligible for the Rule 5 draft. The five:

SP Brandon Maurer
3B/OF Vinnie Catricala
LHP Bobby LaFromboise
LHP Anthony Fernandez
OF Julio Morban

Left unprotected were LHP Brian Moran and RHP Andrew Carraway, who both could be selected and stashed in a bullpen somewhere next year. But, neither are particularly high upside guys, so even if the organization loses either one, it’s not a particularly huge deal. And, of course, they might not get selected, and if they do, they might very well get returned. So, I wouldn’t lose much sleep over it.

Especially since Figgins has finally, mercifully been DFA’d. Now the team can get back to actually using a 25 man roster again.


64 Responses to “Figgins DFA’d, Five Added”

  1. scraps on November 20th, 2012 7:12 pm

    Oh, yay!

  2. bat guano on November 20th, 2012 7:16 pm

    That’s more like it. No surprises, except maybe Morban. Thoughts on him, prospect mavens?

  3. BackRub on November 20th, 2012 7:20 pm

    Feels good to have the sunk cost gone. M’s had interesting selections, seeming to protect the players they saw as most valuable rather than those most lightly to be selected-Moran probably has a better chance of being picked than Julio Morban or A Fernandez. Morban and Fernandez have more potential value. Will be interesting to see how teams value Morban-on one hand he has a decent chance of being above replacement level next year, which is more than can be said for most rule-5 picks. On the other hand, hes not going to develop into a super value piece and hes a soft-thrower who isn’t a LOOGY.

  4. Gritty Veteran Poster on November 20th, 2012 7:27 pm

    Never trust a man who can’t spell his own name correctly. Happy dance commencing.

  5. Hatch on November 20th, 2012 7:29 pm

    This makes me happy. Excited to see how we use the extra roster spot. I almost forgot what a 25 man roster looks like. We have been stuck at 24 the past 3 years…

  6. tmac9311 on November 20th, 2012 7:30 pm

    feel free to correct me, seeing as the 40 man roster is filled, does that mean we should expect some trades? or is it standard to fill the 40 man for the Rule 5 draft? I’ve been reading this site for 4 years, you’d think I’d know this by now.

  7. bat guano on November 20th, 2012 7:30 pm

    It’s also a bit of a surprise that no one else got cut. I was expecting that Medina, Robles or Triunfel might be tossed in favor of another pitcher.

  8. Ocroc on November 20th, 2012 7:31 pm

    Do we have any idea why Yoervis Medina is still on the 40 man roster? Was he more likely to be claimed off waivers than Carraway getting selected in the Rule 5?

  9. msfanmike on November 20th, 2012 7:36 pm


    It’s AFT

  10. just a fan on November 20th, 2012 7:55 pm

    Glad they added Catricala over a couple pedestrian arms.

    And I am excited as a pack of chimpanzees on mating day that Figgins is gone. WOOHOO!!!

  11. stuafoo on November 20th, 2012 7:56 pm


  12. WTF_Ms on November 20th, 2012 7:58 pm

    This is the day I’ve been looking forward to since he started sucking in Spring Training the year we signed him.

    Interested to see what comes out of the winter meetings later in December.

  13. Westside guy on November 20th, 2012 8:03 pm

    Another year of Peguero…

  14. nvn8vbryce on November 20th, 2012 8:16 pm


  15. _Hutch_ on November 20th, 2012 8:22 pm

    Not posting this to be a dick, since you’d have to be clairvoyant to predict a 7 WAR 31-year-old All Star would suddenly cease being able to hit a baseball. But in case anyone wanted a reminder of the conventional wisdom around here during the Figgins signing:

  16. Westside guy on November 20th, 2012 8:54 pm

    Haha, love this line from that post, Hutch:

    “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.”

    Yeah, he didn’t come anywhere close to his 2009 numbers… :-D

    As the old-timers like to say – that’s why you play the game.

  17. henryv on November 20th, 2012 9:00 pm

    Glad that link doesn’t have me saying anything particularly stupid.

    Admittedly, in a later thread, I was pretty excited about Figgins. It was going to be the perfect fit with Ichiro, as their OBPs would allow a lot of runs to be driven in by the #3 and 4 hitter.

    However, one thing that I am disappointed with is that the M’s don’t currently have a embarrassing catastrophe contract that they usually like to carry (in the words of Jeff) “just for funsies”. The “worst” contract they might have now is Guti’s at $7.3M for 1 year (with a club option, if they want to test their luck).

  18. Westside guy on November 20th, 2012 9:15 pm

    I wasn’t on that thread; but I thought Figgins was a great pick-up.

  19. shirley37 on November 20th, 2012 9:28 pm

    I was very happy when the M’s signed Figgins as many fans were. Then he seemed to lose it. Why? Does anyone have any idea?

  20. Steve Nelson on November 20th, 2012 9:44 pm

    I feel embarrassed for not knowing this – but I don’t. Figgins contract has vesting option for 2014 based on, IIRC, 600 PAs in 2013. If, some team somewhere should take an irrational liking to him and give him 600 PAs (cough – Royals – cough), who pays for the vested 2013 year?

  21. henryv on November 20th, 2012 9:46 pm

    The team that takes him. M’s just owe the guaranteed money, not any vested.

  22. Dave on November 20th, 2012 9:47 pm

    Once he gets released, the contract terminates, and all bonuses and incentives die with it. He’ll sign a new contract with a new team that won’t have that clause in it.

  23. Westside guy on November 20th, 2012 10:00 pm

    Don’t be embarrassed Steve – I asked that same question over at LL a week or so ago. I was wondering the same thing. :-D

  24. Adam S on November 20th, 2012 11:19 pm

    Dave, asked up thread but any thoughts on what happened with Figgins? His 7 WAR season in his walk year was a fluke, but he went from being a 3-4 win player to less than replacement level at age 32. He seemed to have forgotten how to hit and how to field when he came to Seattle.

  25. Steve Nelson on November 20th, 2012 11:21 pm

    Once he gets released, the contract terminates, and all bonuses and incentives die with it. He’ll sign a new contract with a new team that won’t have that clause in it.

    But the guaranteed money part remains, with an offset for whatever money is paid by the new team, right?

    So what did the Mets do differently with Jason Bay? It’s my understanding that in Bay’s situation, whatever money he gets from signing a new contract is in addition to, not in lieu, of money being paid by the Mets. Did the Mets and Bay come to an arrangement on buying out the whole contract and, in the process, eliminate the offset provisions?

  26. Steve Nelson on November 20th, 2012 11:32 pm

    [blockquote]Dave, asked up thread but any thoughts on what happened with Figgins? His 7 WAR season in his walk year was a fluke, but he went from being a 3-4 win player to less than replacement level at age 32. He seemed to have forgotten how to hit and how to field when he came to Seattle.[/blockquote]
    My impression is that age hit him suddenly, and he lost a significant increment of bat speed, foot speed, reaction time, and hand-eye coordination involved in reading pitches, making solid contact, and making plays in the field.

    We think about players with different skill sets and how they age differently, but ultimately those are all probability distributions. While most players with Figgins’ skill set will generally have a longer decline phase than the “big slow slugger” types, the reality is that some players in that group will experience a sudden decline (and some players in the latter group will have a more extended decline). It appears to me that Figgins is just one of the players in his type who hit a wall at an early age.


    Now we’ll be hearing for years from some “savants” that a “two-leadoff hitter” type of offense doesn’t working, citing to the Mariners with Figgins and Ichiro as proof. Of course that proves nothing, as Figgins fell off so steeply that the Mariners never had a “two-leadoff hitter” offense.

  27. greentunic on November 21st, 2012 12:14 am

    I will submit that Figgins is the worst Seattle Mariner in history, when considering ALL factors:

    1. His production. -0.8 WAR during his stay.

    2. His contract. $36 Million for less-than-replacement-level play for partial playing time over three seasons.

    3. His distractions. Getting in fights with the manager and possibly starting what turned out to be a drawn out period of bad clubhouse drama during the 2010 season.

    4. His degredation of the Seattle Mariners product. Complaining to the media, sulking in the dugout. Providing a constant source of trauma, suffering, and pain for the fans.

    5. His damage to the credibility of the Mariners front office with fans and media and bloggers due to both their failed free agent signing and the long-procrastinated release of his services.

    Has anyone else ever hurt the Mariners this much? Ever?

  28. greentunic on November 21st, 2012 12:20 am


  29. Steve Nelson on November 21st, 2012 12:52 am

    Has anyone else ever hurt the Mariners this much? Ever?

    In my memory, I consider Carlos Silva to be a worse signing. Silva had all of those elements as well. Signing Figgins looked like a good, savvy idea at the time. But signing Silva was clearly a bad idea from the start, one that had almost no chance of working.

    When Silva was signed, the thinking in the Mariners office was, “We need a starting pitcher. Silva is the best option left on the free agent market. What will it take to sign him? Well I guess then that that is the market price for starting pitching, so that’s what we need to pay.” There was no consideration as to whether he was actually worth what they were going to pay him, or what other alternatives might exist for filling that need.

    So I don’t find Figgins nearly as frustrating as Silva. Signing Figgins was a good idea, one that had a chance of working out. The odds on Figgins were actually in the Mariners favor. Figgins was just one of those decisions that flopped, where the process was good but the outcome didn’t follow. Silva, however, was emblematic of bad decision-making.

    The primary frustration with Figgins is that the Mariners should have cut him loose a year ago. If the Marines had done that I don’t think he would have been nearly the flash point that he has become.


    In a similar vein, I don’t get nearly as worked about Figgins as I did seeing Horacio Ramirez, or thinking about Ben Broussard and Eduardo Perez.

    Or the Mariners signing Raul Ibañez before the deadline for offering arbitration, even though they knew KC wasn’t going to offer him arbitration, because they didn’t want a first round draft choice.


    I know that for a lot of people Figgins is symbolic of a lot of frustration. But Figgins ranks far from the top as the worst decision the Mariners have made in recent years.

  30. Westside guy on November 21st, 2012 1:03 am

    Heck, if we’re talking horrible moves by the Mariners… I’d argue the contract offer to Shiggy in 2003 was one of the worst moves they ever made.

    Not that Shiggy was a bad pitcher – but the team’s stated choice was between offering Cammy arbitration or re-signing Shiggy, and they chose to sign Shiggy. Hasegawa accrued a total of 1 WAR over the next two seasons, while Cameron plugged along averaging just under 4 WAR per season for the next six years.

  31. furlong on November 21st, 2012 5:06 am

    Lets not forget the sleepy Golden Griffy was part of that messy situation!

  32. stevemotivateir on November 21st, 2012 5:47 am

    Somehow I just don’t enjoy reminiscing about Mariner mistakes -especially from the Bavasi era. We’re past that now. Let’s move forward and try to think positive!

  33. Brantid on November 21st, 2012 7:55 am

    Little surprised Carraway wasn’t added. But this may be a function of a good farm system.

  34. greentunic on November 21st, 2012 8:07 am


    This is a clensing process, a way of seeking closure. If not to seek solace here, with others having felt the same pain, surely we would all succumb to the suffering and torment of the modern Mariner world.

    Sorry, I’m just so giddy about this Figgins thing that I’m intentially being dramatic. Fun though.

  35. ivan on November 21st, 2012 8:31 am

    “Has anyone else ever hurt the Mariners this much? Ever?”

    Yes. Omar Vizquel for Felix Fermin is the worst single move, with the longest-lasting consequences, in the history of the franchise. Paying Omar what he asked for and making him a second baseman would have given Seattle a Hall of Fame middle infield. As good a SS as Omar has been, he could have been an even better 2B, with those quick feet and great hands.

  36. Mariners35 on November 21st, 2012 8:44 am

    Hurray for the Mariners slowly recovering from self-inflicted wounds!

    Now let’s see Swisher signed for, oh, I dunno, 4 years and 36 million…

  37. Seattleken on November 21st, 2012 9:26 am

    I remember thinking the Figgins signing was going to be horrible and posted that (below) although I thought he would be ok the first year then suck in 2012 and 2013.

    I like signing Swisher although would try for a 3 year 48 million type deal. Rather than go 5 years.

    “Seattleken on December 4th, 2009 6:32 pm

    I think the signing is fine for 2010 but horrible come 2012, 2013. Figgins 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 know when to let go of their players when their cost out weighs their future production. “

  38. PackBob on November 21st, 2012 9:27 am

    The Mariners can get back to actually using a 25-man roster again, but will they? Figgens may be gone but Peguero still lurks. It’s time they get a real major league outfielder instead of holding tryouts during the regular season.

  39. MKT on November 21st, 2012 9:41 am

    A free agent signing that did work out: yet another story to add to the legend of Ichiro: thank you to the Ichimeter Lady.–mlb.html

  40. amnizu on November 21st, 2012 10:02 am

    If you told me going into the 2010 season that the Mariners would no longer have Figgins, Ichiro and Lee before 2013 and the team would not have broken .500 for those 3 seasons or come close to their 2009 performance I would have called you a liar.

  41. Gormogon on November 21st, 2012 10:05 am

    I have a question regarding why Figgins remained on for so long. Do teams carry insurance on all players (or players at a certain AAV) such that salary is covered if they go down for injury? I’m just curious. Maybe Figgins is dealing with anxiety disorder or depression or something like that which they figured they might eventually be able to DL him for and recover some cost from their insurance.

    Or maybe he had been giving overtures of retiring if things didn’t go his way.

    I would say he’s relieved today. He gets to keep doing nothing, but now he doesn’t have to worry about it.

  42. currcoug on November 21st, 2012 10:27 am

    Moran is a solid lefty, with good control…I would be surprised if he isn’t claimed during the Rule 5 draft….he is also two years younger than Lafromboise.

  43. ThanatosK on November 21st, 2012 10:30 am

    Did everyone else get the mass email from the Mariners today that was titled, “Your Holliday Gift Has Arrived”?

    I laughed before I even opened it and yes, although there was a portion about buying gifts…right below it was the Mariners gift to us that they parted ways with Figgins.

    Thank you Mariners, this is the best gift I’ve received in a long time.

  44. Westside guy on November 21st, 2012 10:54 am

    MKT – thanks for posting a link to that great story!

    Ichiro is awesome.

  45. McD on November 21st, 2012 12:12 pm

    Aside from the others already mentioned… I’d say giving away Carlos Guillen was bad, but worst was Jason Varitek and Derek Lowe for Heathcliff Slocumb. Way to go Woody Woodward!
    Even though we like Trayvon, because Andino takes Figgins’ role, this trade was more like Trayvon and Figgins for Andino and a second spot on the 40 man roster, a hell of a deal for the mariners!

  46. McD on November 21st, 2012 12:13 pm

    Speaking of Woody Woodward, many would argue the Jay Buhner trade was the best trade Woodward ever made for the Mariners. Of course he was the Yankees GM at the time…

  47. mrakbaseball on November 21st, 2012 12:18 pm

    “Chone” is short for DeChone, Figgins’ middle name.

  48. ck on November 21st, 2012 1:06 pm

    Figgins is finally gone! I can now almost believe reports that money will be spent this off-season. Next best announcement would be that every job is open to competition in spring training, ala the Seahawks…

  49. Jordan on November 21st, 2012 1:09 pm

    Depending on who takes Olivo’s roster spot, the Mariners have already added several wins by raising the floor to mediocrity and perhaps not using negative win players throughout next season.

  50. bookbook on November 21st, 2012 4:32 pm

    Football isn’t baseball. You dont want open competition for jobs in spring training. It leads to hints like your best hitter sitting on the bench for the first 6 weeks of the season.

  51. Typical Idiot Fan on November 21st, 2012 5:44 pm

    You dont want open competition for jobs in spring training.

    I fail to see what harm could possibly arise from competition.

  52. SonOfZavaras on November 21st, 2012 6:20 pm

    If I live to be 140, I don’t know if I’ll ever figure out what the hell happened to Chone Figgins as a Seattle Mariner.

    When the deal was first made, the price tag made me cringe a little…but there was a lot of good writing (not the least of which was from Dave) to explain that it was pretty much the going rate of business.

    I never thought of him as a “savior move”, of course…more like a really good piece, and one that had given us all kinds of grief as an Angel.

    I never dreamed at the time that he’d be the author of WAY more grief for Mariner fans by wearing the Mariner uniform.

    I don’t get it, why it never worked out. It kind of feels like a black mark on Zduriencik’s record as a GM that isn’t deserved. No one in baseball- no one, that I can remember- thought of this move as the impending disaster it would prove to be.

    It’s probably less than fruitful if I even try to figure out the answer(s) to it.

    All I know is WOW am I glad the team has finally decided to bite the bullet on that, and DFA him.

    And I’m surprisingly on board with an idea to try again with a pricey deal in free agency, and bring Nick Swisher to the Northwest.

  53. SonOfZavaras on November 21st, 2012 6:31 pm

    Also…can someone please tell me why exactly Carlos Peguero occupies a 40-man roster spot?

    For us or ANY major-league club?

    We have enough data on him, minors AND majors. Age 25 in 2013, and has failed at least two full auditions in the bigs. No contact rates to speak of. Ungodly high amount of whiffs. A disaster defensively in the OF, albeit with slightly better speed than you’d expect from a 250-pounder and a better-than-average arm.

    I’m willing to say that what we see is what we get with Peguero. Ever.

    I sure hope that when we need the 40-man roster room (and please God, I hope that’s soon), he’s odd man out.

  54. stevemotivateir on November 21st, 2012 7:03 pm

    ^Maybe out of fear? Though their own coaches and instructors can’t seem to mold him into something useful, maybe they’re worried another team might succeed where they have failed? Paranoia’s probably a better descriptive word for that scenario, though.

  55. Westside guy on November 21st, 2012 9:07 pm

    The team may be worried if they dump Peguero and he manages to have a decent/lucky 1-2 months at some point , fans will start screaming about how the team gave up too quickly on him. Even if he goes back to sucking full time and eventually gets cut by that other team.

    We could call it the Brian LaHair syndrome.

  56. eponymous coward on November 22nd, 2012 6:53 am

    I fail to see what harm could possibly arise from competition.

    John Jaso (20 plate appearances in April) and Hisashi Iwakuma (15 IP before June 1) say “Hi, remember how we were used early on based on what Eric Wedge thought about spring training?”

    The problem is that spring training stats are complete garbage for assessing players- you have three things working against you: Small Sample Size Theatre, the fact that it’s being done against everything from A ball players to guys who don’t care how the games end up, they’re working on that new pitch, AND it’s at altitude in Arizona (inflates hitting stats). Scouting during spring training makes more sense (you can tell when someone like a Griffey Jr. is ready for his big league job in games), but if you’re Eric Wedge… well, you routinely screw this up, as we saw. It’s pretty common for managers to mess this up, though.

  57. lalo on November 22nd, 2012 3:03 pm

    The M´s are in on Napoli. 4 years and 30 millions is my guess.

  58. Westside guy on November 22nd, 2012 4:21 pm

    If that’s so – the team must’ve already told Montero to put away his catcher’s gear.

  59. Typical Idiot Fan on November 22nd, 2012 10:15 pm

    EC, just because certain talent evaluators on our team are fucking morons doesn’t mean that competition is a bad thing.

  60. stevemotivateir on November 23rd, 2012 7:00 am

    ^I think that was kind of his point. Bad talent evaluators, like Wedge, get confused/distracted with more competition and smaller sample sizes.

    With four of the teams worst players gone, and the undeniable production from Jaso and Iwakuma, let’s hope there’s fewer mistakes this year!

  61. eponymous coward on November 23rd, 2012 7:12 am

    EC, just because certain talent evaluators on our team are fucking morons doesn’t mean that competition is a bad thing.

    It depends on what you mean- if you mean “it’s a good thing to have a surplus of talent throughout the roster and minors”, sure, if it means “we’re going to use a short period of time of questionable validity to make our roster decisions”… no, not so much.

    Taken to an extreme, let’s say Felix doesn’t do so great in spring training, and we’ve already noted he faded some in September. Is he part of the “competition” for roster spots? The original quote is ” every job is open to competition in spring training”. I submit you’d have to be an idiot to be putting Felix’s job in question, unless it was obvious he was injured (and even then, look at how he looked in April compared to June this year).

  62. ck on November 23rd, 2012 9:00 am

    Re Competition: Baseball has guaranteed contracts, so Figgins’ bad contract sat on the bench…If the Angels had played Trout from Opening Day last season, they would probably have won a few more games and made the playoffs… e.g. If Zunino, or any of Hultzen – Paxton – Walker – looks really good in spring training, I hope he makes the team, and isn’t “seasoned” in the Minors to protect Super Two contract status. However, if the M’s sign a better option at catcher, or pitcher, or anywhere; as a free agent, or acquire one in a trade, I’ll be happy to have Zunino and the, ‘Big Three’ get some ‘seasoning;… I just want the M’s to start the year with their best 25 so they can win as many games as possible, and not be doomed by a crappy start.

  63. Typical Idiot Fan on November 23rd, 2012 1:07 pm

    EC, you’re talking about evaluating competition based on the numerical results. I’m not. Despite all our progress in statistical analysis, we still have to rely upon the coaches and scouts to determine whether someone still has “it” or not. Nobody is going to push Felix from the starting rotation if he has a hideous Spring. But if his velocity is way down and his control is erratic, they might get concerned about him.

    Obviously if you know your stars they’re not going to get moved off. But, for the guys like Smoak, who have to prove they’re worth their position, having competition to determine which is better going forward isn’t bad. Again, it’s just up to the people doing the talent evaluation to get it right and not rely upon stupid stats like ours did last spring for certain players.

  64. eponymous coward on November 23rd, 2012 6:29 pm

    The original post that started this:

    Next best announcement would be that every job is open to competition in spring training, ala the Seahawks…

    This is just wrong: football is a very different game than baseball, NFL rosters are very different creatures than MLB rosters, the talent acquisition is very different, and so on.

    But, for the guys like Smoak, who have to prove they’re worth their position, having competition to determine which is better going forward isn’t bad.

    Oh, you mean “having a surplus of talent”? Or “Scouting during spring training makes more sense (you can tell when someone like a Griffey Jr. is ready for his big league job in games)”?

    Look, using spring training to evaluate talent on a gross level (“Hmm, that Pineda/Griffey kid looks like he could break camp with us”)? Sure, nobody’s arguing against that. But if the Mariners don’t already know that Smoak doesn’t really deserve a guaranteed MLB job after 1300-some horrible plate appearances, 4 weeks of spring training isn’t going to help them with picking up the clue phone- and in my opinion, if Smoak hits .400 in spring training and 5 jacks, and Carp hits .250 with a homer, it’s nearly useless in the evaluation (based on what I’ve seen so far, neither Smoak nor Carp are very good MLB players; they are fringy, below average starters/bench players with a small chance of a Ibañez-style bust out at the top end of their projections- the M’s should be seeking out other options, not seeing which one of two bad 1B has the hot spring training).

    And, again, you’re using a small sample size in a distorted environment, where you’ve got A ball players getting regular time; even scouting only gives you so much. The cliché about competition is just that, a cliché.

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