The Chone Figgins era is over in Seattle. Mercifully.
From Greg Johns of MLB.com comes word that the Mariners designated the 34-year-old utilityman for assignment, removing him from their 40-man roster. He’ll either be traded or released within the next 10 days, and we would bet good money on the latter.
Figgins got a four-year, $36 million free agent contract from the M’s before the start of the 2010 season, then went on to bat just .227/.302/.283 with 104 total runs scored and 61 total RBI in 308 games with the team. He still has one year and $8 million remaining on that deal, but the Mariners are content with chalking it up as a sunk cost at this point.
Figgins started only 38 games for Seattle this past summer while earning a salary of $9 million.
The Mariners also designated outfielder Scott Cousins for assignment on Tuesday night.
Red Sox catcher Sandy Leon achieved a rare feat during Monday afternoon’s Grapefruit League exhibition against the Orioles: he homered twice in one inning. One of those homers happened to be a grand slam.
Leon led off the top of the fifth inning with a solo home run off of Logan Verrett. Verrett continued to get knocked around, giving up three singles and a walk before being relieved by Brian Moran. Moran gave up a walk to load the bases, then a single to knock in a run and keep the bases loaded. Leon stepped back to the plate and swatted a grand slam to left field, making it an eight-run fifth for the Red Sox. The Sox would tack on one more before the inning was mercifully ended.
How often do players homer twice in one inning during the regular season? Not that often. Since 2010, the feat has been accomplished four times in the American League and twice in the National League. The Orioles’ Mark Trumbo was the only one to do it last year.
As for Leon, he’s on track to open the season as the starting catcher in Boston, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reported last week.
The Phillies announced on Monday that the club released veteran catchers Ryan Hanigan and Bryan Holaday. Both were competing for the back-up catcher spot on the team’s 25-man roster. With both out of the picture, that means Andrew Knapp has won that honor.
Knapp, 25, hit a combined .266/.330/.390 with eight home runs and 46 RBI in 443 plate appearances last year at Triple-A Lehigh Valley. He did not have a great spring but has hit well as of late, which likely pushed him ahead of Hanigan and Holaday. Knapp will serve as the understudy to starting catcher Cameron Rupp.