Some Thoughts On Chone Figgins

Seems like a new thread might be in order for those analyzing the pros and cons of potentially replacing Kevin Kouzmanoff with Chone Figgins. Below are my scattered thoughts (with a 30% chance of Blowers)...

* I can see why both teams might be willing to do a trade that sent Figgins to Oakland and did not change either team's payroll significantly, e.g., if the A's sent Kouzmanoff to Seattle and the Mariners paid the difference between the two salaries.

From the A's point of view, they would probably upgrade slightly for the same money, in a year where they could be neck and neck in the division race. From the Mariners' point of view, either way they're on the hook for the same amount of money but they subtract and comparably replace a player who not only made a bad first impression on the field, but also was yanked from a game for a lack of hustle, then had a shouting match in the dugout with his manager, who was subsequently fired for "losing the clubhouse" -- and we don't know how much more might have happened behind closed doors between Figgins and Wakamatsu from the time of the public dugout spat to the time of Wakamatsu's dismissal. It was ugly and I don't doubt the Mariners would like to have the same payroll, same approximate 3B value, different guy.

* I can't see the A's pulling the trigger on any deal that requires them to spend more money for what is at most a marginal upgrade. I have to believe that if the A's bring Figgins over, it will be with Seattle paying a reasonable portion of his contract. Yes, Figgins offers versatility that could be useful beyond 2011 but coming off a terrible season at age 32 any team has to have legitimate concern over how good he will be going forward.

* Watching Figgins play 2B in 2010, I was frankly stunned at how bad his range was. Granted, I saw a smaller sample than UZR did so I'm not professing to know how bad it was, in general, over 162 games. But shy of Brooks Conrad, I can't recall a 2Bman who looked worse flagging down balls to his left or right.

Yes, 3B requires less range than 2B, yes how a guy plays 2B doesn't entirely tell you how he'll play somewhere else, and yes Figgins has put together really good defensive numbers at 3B in his career. But he looked scary bad at 2B last season the 19 or so games I saw him, bad enough to scare me into saying, "You know what? All things considered, I'll pass."

I say stick with Kouz.

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