Yes, I’ve followed the rumors all afternoon and can tell you the Mariners are very close to getting a deal done with third baseman Chone Figgins. A baseball source just said a Figgins deal is “looking very favorable” at the moment, but has yet to be completed.
It’s not just about the physical, which would have to be taken. Apparently, there is still a remote shot of the Angels getting back in this thing. Up to now, they are said to have offered Figgins a three-year deal, while the M’s are offering up four. The Figgins camp wants to get a deal done quickly, but there’s always a chance the Angels can up their offer at the last minute. We’ve seen that happen before, after all.
“It’s never done until it’s done,” the source said.
Still, this is looking very good for the M’s. Personally, from what I know, I’d be shocked if they didn’t get this done and lock up a guy who would be the best on-base threat this team has. Figgins had a .395 OBP last season and would become the team’s third baseman. See our poll at the end of this blog about who should hit leadoff for Seattle.
Adrian Beltre is almost certainly not going to accept arbitration on Monday and will sign elsewhere as a free agent.
Figgins would give the team two speedy leadoff-type threats at the top of the order, though the M’s also need some middle-of-the-order presence and I doubt this pending deal signals the end of their shopping. One big question for fans, once this thing gets done, is who the team’s leadoff hitter will be.
Photo Credit: AP
All things being equal, you’d want the guy with the highest OBP to lead off. The guy who led the AL in walks.
That would be Figgins. In fact, according to STATS Inc., Figgins led all No. 1 hitters in plate appearances and walks this season. Among those with at least 150 PA, he was fifth in OBP while hitting out of the leadoff spot:
Derek Jeter .409
Kosuke Fukudome .404
Jason Bartlett .398
Chris Coghlan .397
Chone Figgins .395
But Ichiro has been this team’s leadoff hitter since 2001. Nice problem to have.
By the way, if I was a middle-of-the-order power hitter, I’d be drooling about coming to Seattle with those two at the front end. But maybe that’s just me. I like winning.
Hey, let’s do a poll question: