The Seattle Mariners have designated Chone Figgins for assignment, closing the book on a pretty terrible free agent signing by the M's.
The Figgins signing was one of the first moves made by Jack Z upon taking over as general manager of the Mariners after the 2009 season. Figgins got a 4 year, $36 million deal with a vesting option for 2014 that had the potential to make it a 5 year, $44 million deal.
That option won't vest.
The thing about Figgins is that, one year into the deal, he looked like a bad signing...just not THIS bad of a signing. I remember, in 2010, people saying that, yeah, the Figgins deal backfired, but really, you couldn't blame Jack Z for that because really, who could have expected Figgins to play so poorly?
But look at Figgins' career numbers:
|162 Game Avg.||162||688||604||91||167||24||8||5||52||44||15||68||106||.277||.349||.364||.713||92|
|LAA (8 yrs)||936||4075||3585||596||1045||148||53||31||341||280||96||412||613||.291||.363||.388||.751||99|
|SEA (3 yrs)||308||1209||1056||104||240||37||5||4||61||57||22||114||204||.227||.302||.283||.585||68|
Figgins had almost exactly the same season in 2010 as he did in 2008 and 2006. The steals were about the same, the OPS+ is almost exactly the same. The numbers look worse because Figgins was in Safeco, which depresses offense, but Figgins was also in his 30s and coming off one of the best seasons of his career. A significant drop-off had to be expected. While Figgins wasn't good in 2010, it also is a performance that shouldn't have been outside the realm of possible outcomes.
And then, in 2011, Figgins was even worse. Figgins posted a 484 OPS in 313 plate appearances. Zack Greinke has a career OPS than that, and he's a pitcher.
2012 was better, not better enough to matter, and now, Figgins is gone.
Evan Grant talked last season about wanting to see the Rangers take a flyer on Figgins, give him the opportunity to be the 25th man, a speed and defense guy off the bench, and I suspect that once Figgins clears waivers, he'll get an NRI with some team. Who knows, maybe it will be the Rangers.