First off, let me just say that I would be in favor of pulling the trigger if the right Chone Figgins trade came along. As it’s been said around the blogosphere, he probably isn’t the best fit for this team anymore going forward, and we could certainly use some of that extra money. However, the point I want to make, is that having Figgy around beyond this year probably wouldn’t be the end of the world.
Granted, overall, he’s had an absolutely atrocious 2010 season. I never reached the point where I was wiling to give up on him as a productive player, though, and some quick research will show that he already appears to be regaining his form. These numbers are pretty telling:
Chone Figgins, before July 1st: .232/.335/.275
Chone Figgins, since July 1st: .286/.354/.347
Chone Figgins, career: .287/.360/.379
Sure, he still isn’t producing at his 2009 rate, but it’d be foolish to expect him to. He is, however, right on track with his career norms over the last month and a half, and that’s the Chone Figgins we signed. If we get that Chone Figgins – the Chone Figgins capable of posting 2.5-3 WAR, over the remainder of his contract, I don’t think we have anything to complain about.
On top of that, you have to consider our other options, specifically in 2011. With Dustin Ackley likely up and Jose Lopez likely gone, third base becomes a serious question mark if Figgins is out of the picture, and looking to the farm system doesn’t exactly give you clear-cut answers. Unless the Mariners are ready to count on Tui, Alex Liddi, or Matt Mangini to hold down the position full time, the only option is to look outside of the system – either the trade or free agent market. And, while I can’t necessarily speak for the trade market, the 2011 free agent class doesn’t sport any obvious fits at third base, especially for a team unlikely to contend.
So, while trading Figgy now may seem attractive, there’s a pretty good chance we’re going to be glad we still have him come 2011.