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Is the Chone Figgins era over yet?

May 3, 2012, 6:10 PM EDT

Chone Figgins Getty Images

Chone Figgins didn’t play in the Mariners’ loss Tuesday, but in the last three games he’s started, he’s gone 0-for-15 with six strikeouts from the leadoff spot. All three games turned into one-run defeats for Seattle.

Figgins is currently batting .189 in 95 at-bats for the season. He’s struck out 28 times already. Of course, he hit .188 in 288 at-bats last year.

Despite his struggles, Figgins was simply handed a starting job and the leadoff spot by the Mariners this season. Of course, his contract had a lot to do with that — the Mariners were hoping to find someone willing to take on a portion of the $17 million he was due through 2013. Figgins, though, hasn’t helped his cause there, and it’s doubtful anyone would take him unless he came at close to the minimum salary. Since that’s the case, the Mariners need to forget about money for a while and start playing their younger, better players.

With Mike Carp back from the DL this week, Figgins simply doesn’t belong in the Seattle lineup any longer. Kyle Seager looks like the long-term choice at third. Carp is a poor defensive left fielder, but he needs to play. Michael Saunders has done a nice job in center so far, though he’s cooling off now.

The Mariners don’t need to release Figgins, but they should be thinking of him as a utilityman, not a starter. And certainly not as a fixture in the leadoff spot. The Mariners are in better shape now than they have been in a couple of years, but it’s hard to take them seriously when they’re still playing guys for financial reasons.

  1. SmackSaw - May 3, 2012 at 6:14 PM

    Figgins for Pujols. Straight up.

  2. dodger88 - May 3, 2012 at 6:28 PM

    If he’s released he has Ned Coletti written all over him. Argh.

    • lanflfan - May 3, 2012 at 6:49 PM

      Unfortunately I agree. I’m sure Needle Head Ned can’t wait to sign Choke to replace Juan “I can’t stay healthy or hit my weight” Uribe.

      I love that our new owners lowered ticket prices. Time to lower the boom on Needle Head Ned’s impersonation of a G.M.

      • lanflfan - May 3, 2012 at 6:50 PM

        Correction:ownership lowered parking prices.

        If we only had an edit button…

      • Gobias Industries - May 3, 2012 at 9:49 PM

        Even Ted Williams couldn’t hit Juan Uribe’s weight.

    • citizenking77 - May 3, 2012 at 6:52 PM

      He’s an ex-Angel, why not?

  3. brokea$$lovesmesomeme - May 3, 2012 at 6:39 PM

    Good news is he’s only owed $25 million with a $9 million option for 2014.

  4. mariner425 - May 3, 2012 at 7:11 PM

    As a Mariner fan I would trade him straight up for syphilis. Not sure there would be any takers though.

    • rooney24 - May 3, 2012 at 7:48 PM

      Figgins costs more and is tougher to get rid of.

      • hammyofdoom - May 3, 2012 at 8:14 PM

        If only syphilis was as easy to get out as Chone figgins…

  5. rooney24 - May 3, 2012 at 7:48 PM

    The latest example of why MLB needs to do away with fully guaranteed contracts. It is a crime that Figgins is making millions of dollars to suck. It would be fine if contracts were partially guaranteed, or if they got part of it as an upfront bonus, like the NFL, but full guarantees kill small market teams when they don’t work out.

    • dwrek5 - May 3, 2012 at 8:11 PM

      What leverage do owners have to request that from the Players Union? The damage is done.

    • hammyofdoom - May 3, 2012 at 8:15 PM

      Maybe small market teams should make better deals than paying Chone Figgins an ungodly amount of money

      • seattlej - May 3, 2012 at 10:16 PM

        Easy to say now… but if you look back a couple of years, the Figgins signing appeared on just about everyone’s “best signings of the off season” type of lists. I don’t really remember anyone panning it at the time.

        Good process; bad result.

      • jhorton83 - May 5, 2012 at 6:03 AM

        No, I think even at the time the Chone Figgins signing was laughed at outside of Seattle. I don’t remember that ever showing up on any “best signings of the offseason” lists. And if it did, those people were idiots.

  6. cltjump - May 3, 2012 at 7:58 PM

    There was a Chone Figgins era?

  7. hojo20 - May 3, 2012 at 8:15 PM

    Too much pressure to live up to the big contract.

  8. F.R. Eeman - May 3, 2012 at 9:19 PM

    Maybe the opposite of agonizing over a tough decision is figgonizing over it: just let things play out until everyone loses.

  9. ezthinking - May 4, 2012 at 12:34 AM

    The Angels got slammed for not keeping Figgins and Lackey, those ‘missed’ opportunities turned out to be huge blessings. 4 – $36 mil, 5 – $82.5 mil. Too bad about that Wells’ deal gave most of it all back.

    • henryd3rd - May 4, 2012 at 10:08 AM

      That Pulois deal ain’t looking so good right now either

  10. tropboi11 - May 4, 2012 at 1:38 AM

    Saunders good on defense, haha. I guess that’s what Luke Scott thought while rounding the bases after the ball bounced off of his glove and over the wall. Go Rays, sweep…

    • nworca - May 4, 2012 at 2:07 AM

      Hey, the ball didn’t go off his head!

  11. denny65 - May 4, 2012 at 2:48 AM

    Eric Wedge still insists on playing Brendan Ryan at short. Ryan is doing worse than the Figgie guy this season. Go figure.

    Wedge just don’t have it dialed in: the young guys–Seager, Sanders, Liddi–do great one game and shure-as-shootin’ he sits them down the next. Figgie and Ryan (who does a great Johnny Carson impression, btw), unable to hit their weight, remain at the one and nine holes in the lineup.

    Four straight losses to TB should have told Eric something. We’ll see if he’s learned anything tomorrow against the Twinkies.

    • dorbs345 - May 4, 2012 at 11:55 AM

      I agree, where would LIddi play though with Seager at 3b? Move Seager to SS and LIddi at 3b?

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