UPDATE: According to a Tweet by John Hickey of AOL Fanhouse, Chone Figgins says he wants to stay “and win in Seattle.” He might be waiting a while.
For what it’s worth, Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle reported yesterday that Figgins has not been asked to waive his limited no-trade clause, which includes the Athletics. Of course, no-trade clauses don’t really mean much these days, so that doesn’t mean a deal won’t happen.
10:24 AM: By the way, in his ESPN Insider column this morning, Buster Olney continued to talk about the possibility that there could be a third team involved in trade negotiations, possibly the Blue Jays.
9:57 AM: Craig mentioned yesterday the potential deal that would have the Mariners send Chone Figgins to the Athletics for Kevin Kouzmanoff.
Asked about the rumor on Friday, Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik indicated that he plans to have Chone Figgins on the ballclub on Opening Day (via Greg Johns and Jane Lee of MLB.com).
“I’m looking forward to Figgins being our starting third baseman,” Zduriencik said. “He’ll be here tomorrow [for the Mariners’ FanFest]. He’s been agreeable to moving back to third base and that’s our plan, to have Chone be our Opening Day third baseman.”
This means nothing, of course.
I actually like Figgins quite a bit, but if the Mariners can somehow get the Athletics to take on all or most of the $26 million left on his contract, they should absolutely jump at the chance.
ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. (AP) Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred wants Tampa Bay to work a little quicker on getting the Rays a new ballpark.
Rays Principal Owner Stuart Sternberg has been working for nearly a decade to get a new stadium for the club and signed a three-year agreement with the City of St. Petersburg early in 2016 to search for a site in the Tampa Bay area. Manfred wants that search to pick up some steam.
“I think it’s fair to say we want the process to take on a better pace moving forward,” Manfred said Wednesday night at Tropicana Field, home of the Rays since their first season in 1998.
The Rays were averaging 15,815 fans per game before Wednesday night’s contest against the Toronto Blue Jays. That is just over half the major league average of 30,470. Tropicana Field and its location have been almost universally blamed as the reason for the poor attendance.
“I’ve been pretty clear that they need a new facility here, a major league quality facility in an A-plus location,” Manfred said. “It is time to move that decision to the front burner here in Tampa.”
The matter of how a stadium would be financed has been tabled until a site is determined, but Sternberg continued to express confidence in the Tampa Bay market.
“I’ve had the opportunity to bail on it many times over the years,” he said. “I won’t say this is a slam dunk, it’s certainly not. But I think we can do something that’ll at least double our attendance. That’s a lot to ask for.”
Manfred said Major League Baseball “doesn’t have a firm timetable” for what steps to take if the Rays fail to get an agreement to build a new stadium in the Tampa Bay area, but but added that “it is a topic of discussion in the industry, the lack of progress.”
More AP baseball: https://apnews.com/tag/MLBbaseball
Bad news for the Mariners this evening: Robinson Cano left Seattle’s game against the Atlanta Braves with tightness in his left hamstring.
Cano walked off the field after legging out a double — his second of the game — in the third inning. He pulled up as he approached second base and walked off the field, accompanied by a trainer. There was no immediate word on the severity of the injury. The Mariners have a day off Thursday before opening a series at the Yankees on Friday night, so they have some time to evaluate him.
Cano is hitting .277/.377/.460 with 19 homers and 78 RBI on the year.