According to several sources, the Seattle Mariners have reached a preliminary agreement with Chone Figgins on a four-year, $36 million contract. The deal also supposedly includes a vesting option for a fifth year that could push the deal to $45 million. The option likely won’t come into play unless Figgins lives up to his deal, so there is little risk to the team.
Figgins really had a monster defensive year this past season, posting a plus/minus of +40. I think he’s a good defender, but I doubt he’ll repeat that. Offensively his hitting production has fluctuated, and he is a decent basestealer. Based on his recent performance, I project him to be worth about $38 million over the next four seasons.
The Mariners will lose their first-round pick, but should get a supplemental pick, when Adrian Beltre signs with another team. While two picks before the second round are better than one, it may be more than the team can handle with its budget constraint. If teams could trade draft picks, the Mariners might be less reluctant to part with the pick. On the issue of losing a pick, Seattle GM Jack Zduriencik commented,
“If the right Type-A free agent came up and you knew it would help your club for the next several years … we all know lot of draft picks fall flat on their face.”