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The Athletics are trying to trade for Chone Figgins

Jan 28, 2011, 6:03 AM EDT

Chone Figgins

The A’s have been making all kinds of upgrades this offseason. They’ve improved the offense and have made their bullpen into one of the best in the game.  They may not be done either. From the Contra Costa Times:

A source with knowledge of the situation said the A’s are trying to trade for Seattle infielder Chone Figgins, and that current A’s third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff and perhaps a pitcher could be shipped to the Mariners in return.

Figgins was lost in 2010, having been moved to second base and having struggled at the plate.  He still figures to be an above average defensive third baseman, however, and even if he doesn’t draw 100 walks like he did in 2009, he is an offensive upgrade over Kouzmanoff, who has some pop but struggles to get on base.

For the Mariners, this would be a salary-shedding move, as Figgins is owed $26 million over the next three years.  Normally you don’t see the A’s taking on that kind of obligation, but given that they offered Adrian Beltre serious cash, they are clearly comfortable spending some money to upgrade at third.

  1. Ari Collins - Jan 28, 2011 at 10:42 AM

    Love the many minor upgrades the As are making. Here’s hoping they can challenge the Rangers.

  2. apbaguy - Jan 28, 2011 at 11:30 AM

    Wow. Billy Beane must have noticed the sea of empty seats at the Mausoleum. So much activity in search of veterans who could possibly upgrade the offense. I could see taking a risk on Figgins for $5M per year, not $9M. And he’d probably demand a bonus for having to wear those horrible blue and white alternative road unis. The starting pitcher chooses the road uni typically. Gio prefers the black, Braden the green, the White Rabbit likes the gray. I’m concerned about Anderson. That little smile of his. What’s he thinking? I hope he’s not planning to surprise us with that blue and white uni one day. Maybe Braden will yell at him as he starts to reach for it in his locker on game day. We can only hope.

    • clydeserra - Jan 28, 2011 at 1:33 PM

      No black for Gio this year.

  3. shawnuel - Jan 28, 2011 at 11:57 AM

    As a Mariner fan, I would welcome this, though I am definitely not a Figgins hater. I just like the thought of a significant reduction in payroll. Not crazy about Kouzmanoff, but could see him as a place setter until next season, while we use the savings to upgrade in other areas.
    I also like the upgrades the A’s are making. They don’t have a great ballpark for offense and so are competing with solid “d”, promising young pitching, a deep bullpen, speed and pretty good OBP guys. I think this deal would close the gap with the Rangers.

  4. WhenMattStairsIsKing - Jan 28, 2011 at 12:49 PM

    If Seattle eats half, it’s a solid deal for Oakland.

  5. seattlej - Jan 28, 2011 at 3:46 PM

    It’s not so good for Seattle if they eat half. Kouzmanoff is making $4.75 M in 2011, so there wouldn’t be any salary relief for this season. And his salary will only increase for 2012 (and would probably make him a non-tender candidate).

    If that’s what the A’s are asking, why not just let Figgins re-establish some value this year and ship him off at the trade deadline if he does? If he puts up another lack-luster year, I’m betting they can still move him in July if they do eat half his salary. There’s some risk in doing that, but I don’t think it would be so much that it wouldn’t be worth the potential reward.

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