Today Should Be Chone Figgins DFA Day
You’re going to see the Mariners do some stuff today, as we’re at the deadline to add players to the 40 man roster who would otherwise be eligible for the Rule 5 draft. Brandon Maurer is the only absolute lock to get added, but I’d expect the team to protect a few of their reliever-types, including Bobby LaFromboise, Brian Moran, Andrew Carraway, and Anthony Fernandez. These are all low upside guys who aren’t premium prospects, but LaFromboise, Moran, and Fernandez are all left-handed, so they could pretty easily slide into a non-contender’s bullpen in a situational role, and Carraway throws enough strikes to be someone’s mop-up guy in 2013. These are the kinds of guys who get taken in the Rule 5 draft, so adding them to the 40 man is probably the best bet to keep them in the organization.
Of course, if they want to add Maurer and those four pitchers, then they’re going to have to open up two spots on the 40 man roster, which currently sits at 37. And, of course, the obvious guy on the 40 man roster to get rid of is Chone Figgins. Of course, he’s been the obvious guy to get rid of for a long time, and the organization has refused to do it, but now his presence on the roster even one more day threatens to cost them a prospect. At some point, the Mariners are just going to have to swallow their pride and pay Figgins to go away. Losing a prospect in the Rule 5 draft in order to preserve the right to do it later is silly. There’s no reason for Figgins to be on the roster anymore, and now they need his spot. This is the easiest decision Jack has to make all winter.
I wouldn’t be surprised if you saw a few others removed from the 40 man as well — in order to open up a few extra spots for guys like Vinnie Catricala or Danny Farquhar — but likely through minor trade rather than DFA. Both Mike Carp and Trayvon Robinson are out of options and unlikely to be part of the Mariners roster next year, so shipping them off for a non-roster prospect would also clear up roster spots for some additions. Keep in mind, the Mariners are going to have to clear more 40 man space if they sign a free agent, so these two are unlikely to make it through the winter, even if they aren’t traded today. Additionally, they could dump Francisco Martinez or Chance Ruffin without losing any sleep, though then they’d essentially be admitting that the Doug Fister trade was a bust, so there might be some face saving involved there as well.
Regardless, you’re going to see some stuff happen. A few guys are getting added. A few others are probably going away. Hopefully, one of those is Chone Figgins.