After all the speculation, it’s now official. The Mariners have bid farewell to Chone Figgins, cutting him loose three years into his four-year deal. Figgins was due to make $8.5 million this season, but the team felt his roster spot was more valuable at this stage.
Figgins was officially designated for assignment, so the team has 10 days to release, trade or outright him to the minors. If outrighted, he could refuse and become a free agent. In other words, he’s as good as gone.
The team also DFA’d recently-acquired outfielder Scott Cousins, then added third baseman Vinnie Catricala, left-handed pitcher Anthony Fernandez, left-handed pitcher Bobby Lafromboise, right-handed pitcher Brandon Maurer and outfielder Julio Morban to their 40-man roster.
This morning’s acquisition of Robert Andino from the Orioles gave them a backup who can fill many of the positions that Figgins did — including center field in a pinch. And so, rather than keep Figgins around for another spring when they had little intent on using him — and knowing his trade value is virtually nil — the team let him go.
We’ll see whether Figgins can resurrect his career someplace else. I’m sure he’ll get picked up rather quickly, since the Mariners are on the hook for the overwhelming majority of his salary minus the major league minimum.
Today was the day the team had to set its 40-man roster ahead of the Rule 5 draft, deciding which players to protect and leave unprotected. Figgins goes so that a spot could be used on somebody else and not have him subjected to the draft.