Should the Mariners trade Chone Figgins? Should the Braves be interested in him?

7 Comments

Rarely do Geoff Baker of the Seattle Times and Dave Cameron of U.S.S. Mariner agree on something, but amid speculation that the Braves are interested in Chone Figgins as a possible replacement for Chipper Jones they both think the Mariners would be smart to deal him.
Baker argues that Figgins is redundant with Ichiro Suzuki around, while Cameron argues that Figgins isn’t a good fit because the Mariners aren’t as close to being consistent contenders as they believed when signing him this offseason.
Figgins has three years and $27 million left on his contract, so he’ll definitely clear waivers (if he hasn’t already) and can be traded anywhere. Clearly how much of that contract another team is willing to assume will be the sticking point.
According to Baker the Braves feel Figgins is worth around $6 million per season, in which case they’d presumably want the Mariners to eat about $9 million in total salary. Cameron suggests a potential solution for that would be for the Braves to include Kenshin Kawakami and his $6.7 million salary for next season in the deal, in part because he helps make the money aspect work and in part because he could be a useful back-of-the-rotation starter in Seattle.
Either way, if reports of the Braves having interest in Figgins before Jones went down for the season were true, the two sides seemingly should be able to work something out.

Julio Urias to undergo season-ending shoulder surgery

Getty Images
Leave a comment

The news has gone from bad to worse for Dodgers’ left-hander Julio Urias, who is scheduled for anterior capsule surgery on his left shoulder next Tuesday and expected to be sidelined through the middle of the 2018 season. His MRI came back negative on Wednesday, giving the Dodgers some hope that the 20-year-old’s bout of shoulder inflammation wasn’t masking any structural damage, but the pain lingered several days later and prompted further concern from the club. The procedure will be performed by Dr. Neal ElAttrache.

Urias was optioned to Triple-A Oklahoma City in late May and placed on the disabled list with left shoulder discomfort several weeks into his assignment. At the major league level, he owned a 5.40 ERA, 5.4 BB/9 and 4.2 SO/9 through 23 1/3 innings, going 0-2 in five starts with Los Angeles. He made a brief rebound in Triple-A, posting three wins and striking out 17 of 67 batters in 17 1/3 innings before landing on the DL.

It’s a tough blow for the southpaw, who had yet to hit his stride in the majors before getting sidelined with shoulder issues. The Dodgers were especially mindful of this outcome for Urias, and had taken preventative measures to protect his arm by establishing a strict innings limit last season. According to club president Andrew Friedman, there’s a small silver lining here: while Urias’ injury will keep him out of work for at least 12 months, he doesn’t appear to have sustained any damage to his labrum or rotator cuff, and could be facing a much more streamlined recovery process as a result. Whether he’ll be able to rebound once he takes the mound again remains to be seen.

Tigers release Francisco Rodriguez

Getty Images
4 Comments

Tigers’ right-handed reliever Francisco Rodriguez was released on Friday, per a team announcement. The club recalled fellow right-hander Bruce Rondon from Triple-A Toledo in a corresponding move.

The former closer got the boot after losing his closing role in early May, giving left-hander Justin Wilson a chance to impress at the back end of the bullpen. It’s been a rough year for Rodriguez, who manufactured six blown saves and a 7.82 ERA, 3.9 BB/9 and 8.2 SO/9 over 25 1/3 innings for the Tigers. The final straw, it seemed, came with Robinson Cano‘s grand slam in the seventh inning of the Tigers’ 6-9 loss to the Mariners on Thursday.

While the demotion to a clean-up role and an apparent lack of communication caused Rodriguez considerable frustration, he’s two years removed from his last dominant performance as a major league closer and has shown few signs of returning to form. His recent slump doesn’t diminish the impressive totals he’s racked up over his 16-year career — 437 saves and six All-Star nominations among them — but if he can’t break out of it soon, he may not receive the kind of high leverage role he’s seeking with another big league team, either.