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.
Angels outfielder Kole Calhoun had three more years of arbitration eligibility left, but he and the Angels decided to settle that future business at once on Wednesday, agreeing to a three-year extension worth $26 million, per SB Nation’s Chris Cotillo. The contract also includes a $14 million club option for the 2020 season.
Calhoun, 29, has been a dependable right fielder for the Angels over the last three seasons, batting an aggregate .266/.327/.436 with 61 home runs and 216 RBI in 1,895 plate appearances. According to FanGraphs, Calhoun has been the ninth-most valuable right fielder in baseball since the start of the 2014 season with 11.4 Wins Above Replacement. He ranks slightly behind Giancarlo Stanton (11.9) and just ahead of J.D. Martinez (10.9).
The Angels only have a handful of players signed beyond the 2017 season — just Albert Pujols, Mike Trout, Andrelton Simmons, and Calhoun. The club has options on Ricky Nolasco and Huston Street, while many others will be eligible for arbitration.
Nothing is happening as the baseball world waits four more hours for the Hall of Fame announcement. Question: why do it at 6pm? For MLB Network ratings? Let’s be real, there are “Golden Girls” reruns on third-tier basic cable that are gonna draw a bigger audience. Why not announce it now so people can get on with their lives? Oh well.
As we wait, let’s take a look in at Twitter, where Jim Bowden of ESPN passes along the rumor that the Washington Nationals are still interested in signing Matt Wieters and Greg Holland:
Great to know that the Nats’ baseball operations budget is dictated by its capital expenditures. Maybe they shoulda been smart like the Braves and suckered — er, I mean negotiated the local government to pay more for it? GO BRAVES!
Anyway, Bryce Harper had a response to that:
I take that to mean that he’d take the money used to construct the team store and give to Wieters and Holland. I haven’t seen the budget breakdown for the new spring training facility, but that would probably mean a major pay cut for Wieters and Holland. And where would we buy our “Make Baseball Great Again” caps? Think ahead, Bryce. Play the long game here.