Chone Figgins has been a complete disaster since signing a four-year, $36 million deal with the Mariners in December of 2009. After he hit absolute rock bottom this season by batting just .188/.241/.243 over 313 plate appearances, it appears general manager Jack Zduriencik is ready to cut his losses and move on.
According to Jon Paul Morosi of FOXSports.com, the Mariners are willing to kick in some cash in order to rid themselves of Figgins. What a concept.
Morosi hears that the Mariners are hopeful a team in need of a leadoff man will engage them in trade talks. They view the Reds, Tigers and Giants as possible fits, though it’s not clear if any of them are actually interested.
Figgins, who turns 34 in January, is still owed $9 million next season and $8 million in 2013. His contract includes a $9 million vesting option for 2014 if he gets 600 plate appearances in 2013. He couldn’t do much worse with a change of scenery, but the only realistic way a deal goes down is if the Mariners are willing to cover most of his remaining salary or they find a trade partner who has a similarly bad contract.
Infielder Brett Lawrie successfully avoided arbitration and signed a one-year contract with the White Sox on Friday, per a team announcement. FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman added that the deal was for $3.5 million, significantly lower than the $4.125 million Lawrie was paid by the White Sox in 2016.
The White Sox acquired Lawrie last December in a swap for minor league arms Zack Erwin and J.B. Wendelken. After splitting time at second and third base for the Athletics in 2015, Lawrie slotted in at second base and DH for the White Sox and batted .248/.310/.413 with 12 home runs in 384 PA. While it’s strange to see a healthy, fairly productive player receive a salary reduction in arbitration, Lawrie missed nearly half of the season with a strain in his left hamstring, though he’s projected to return at full health by the start of the 2017 season.
Left-hander Brian Duensing signed a one-year, $2 million contract with the Cubs on Friday, per a report from FanRag Sports’ Jon Heyman.
The free agent spent the bulk of his 2016 season with the Orioles after receiving a call-up from Triple-A Norfolk in early June. He underwent elbow surgery several weeks later when a freak bullpen injury revealed cartilage chips and inflammation in his pitching elbow, but recovered to finish the season with a 4.05 ERA and 10 strikeouts in 13 1/3 innings for the club. The Orioles utilized him for a final out during the AL Wild Card game, during which Duensing recorded a five-pitch strikeout in the ninth inning of their 5-2 loss to the Blue Jays.
The 33-year-old is currently expected to bulk up the Cubs’ left-handed relief corps, with fellow left-hander Mike Montgomery slated for the rotation in 2017.