#2: Chone Figgins: 2010-2012: 4 years/$36 million (paid final year of deal)
I wanted Figgins to be good so badly. I’ve always had a soft spot for the little speedy/scrappy guy who can play defense. I’m 6’6″, but still like watching those little guys. I have to admit, I was really excited when he got signed. I’d long been a fan of his while he was on the Angels, and was ecstatic when he came to the Mariners.
The first year with Seattle wasn’t even that bad. It wasn’t great, but he still hit .259/.340/.306 with 42 steals. We all hoped it was a blip, and that he would improve for the rest of the contract. I never expected that he would put up a statline like he did his final year in LA (.298/.395/.393, 114 R, 42 SB, 7 3Bs, 101 BBs, 4.8 oWAR, 3.3 dWAR, 7.7 WAR), but getting seasons in the 3.0 WAR range seemed reasonable, and that contract had the potential to be a steal if he did.
Instead, his career was pretty much over after that first season in Seattle. In the next two seasons, he would tally 147 Games Played, a slash line of .185/.249/.253, an OPS+ of 45, and just 15/22 on SB attempts. The fact that they had to pay out the final year of the deal made it worse, meaning they paid all $36 million for a player that gave them -0.9 WAR in three seasons.