Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik spoke to Chone Figgins by phone tonight, telling him that the team was designating him for assignment and ending his three-year career in Seattle. Zduriencik said Figgins understood the move.
“I wished him the very best,” Zduriencik said in a conference call with beat reporters covering the team. “He was very gracious, said he was really appreciative of his time here in Seattle.
“Unfortunately, it didn’t work out the way he thought it would work out or that we thought it would work out. But he understands that it’s time to turn the page and move forward.
“So, we wish him the very best and certainly hope that he’ll land with someone else and it works out better for him.”
The Mariners technically have 10 days to trade Figgins, release him or outright him to the minors — the latter of which Figgins could decline and become a free agent. But this is just technical stuff and the infielder’s days with Seattle are done.
Zdurencik said he’d had many discussions about Figgins with other teams and that a trade at this point is unlikely with so many of them finalizing their own 40-man rosters and knowing the Mariners were likely to just release the veteran. If no trade happens, Zduriencik said he’ll just release Figgins at some point in coming days.
“I had talked to many clubs, I had a lot of calls,” Zduriencik said. “There was some curiosity if you will, but I didn’t have anyone say they would take him, otherwise it wouldn’t have gotten to this point.”
And so, there you go. The Figgins era has ended in Seattle and the team and player are both moving on.
Zduriencik was asked about how this will impact his future attempts to sign free agents. He was pretty straightforward in describing how there’s a limit to what teams can learn about players ahead of time and that “free agency is always a risk.”
The Mariners haven’t signed any free agents for the money or years given Figgins ever since his deal three years ago. But Zduriencik said he has confidence in the talent evaluators around him and won’t hesitate to take risks on players in the future.
“At the end of the day, any decision you make always has the possibility of being really good, somewhere in the middle or bad,” he said. “It is what we do. It’s the business that we live in.”