godspeed little man - Otto Greule Jr
Chone Figgins has signed a minor-league contract with the Miami Marlins, which sounds about right.
The other day, I wrote about the fact that Chone Figgins was still out there unsigned. He was basically freely available, since the Mariners are on the hook for his 2013 salary, and it seemed to me to say something that no one was even rumored to be so much as interested in Figgins' services. Of course he would eventually get a job, but no one was in a rush to give one to him. That was how far Chone Figgins had fallen.
Figgins has got a job now. And it's just about perfect.
MIAMI -- The Marlins are continuing to add players with something to prove, with the latest being the versatile Chone Figgins, who on Friday signed a Minor League contract with an invitation to Spring Training.
Chone Figgins: minor-league contract. Yeah, pretty much.
Chone Figgins: Miami Marlin. Yup.
Interestingly, remember that rumor where the Mariners had the chance to trade Figgins to the A's? If memory serves, that would've been an exchange of Chone Figgins for Kevin Kouzmanoff. Now both Figgins and Kouzmanoff will be fighting for jobs in Marlins camp in 2013, as they're both around on minor-league deals. Kouzmanoff is fresh off a .691 OPS in double- and triple-A. He didn't bat in the majors in 2012 one time. Between Kouzmanoff and Figgins, I can't decide whose 2012 season was worse.
Anyway, this is the only way this could go. It's perfect for those who can't let Figgins go, who remain pissed off at his lack of production. Figgins' on-field performance was embarrassing, and now he's signed with the baseball team most embarrassing. The Marlins are toxic, a joke that isn't funny enough, and after what they've done no self-respecting baseball player worth a damn would want to join them. They could eventually recover, but they are, at this point, a last resort, and that's exactly the right spot for Figgins to land. He didn't deserve an opportunity with a baseball team with dreams. He can try to make the roster of a team that no one cares about, playing before a sparse audience inside a garish monument to fraud. No real baseball team should have Chone Figgins. Only the Miami Marlins should have Chone Figgins.
And this is simultaneously perfect for Chone Figgins, for a guy who desperately wants to get his career back on track. We know that Figgins thinks he can still play, and all he wants is an opportunity somewhere outside of Seattle. He couldn't have gone further away from Seattle if he tried, and with the Marlins, Figgins might stand to get playing time. Though he's on a minor-league contract, look at this depth chart. He's not buried beneath a mountain of stars, and his versatility will get him multiple looks. The crowds won't be there, but Figgins hasn't exactly had good luck with crowds lately, and silence is better than booing. Figgins will be able to focus on Figgins, and of course, if he does well enough, if he makes the team and performs, he could and should get traded, since the Marlins don't actually keep anyone if they can help it. If Figgins makes the Marlins and puts up decent numbers through June or July, he'll be a versatile and experienced bench bat on the career rebound. He'd be a piece you could see a contender wanting to land.
So the story's not over. For now, everybody wins -- the Figgins detractors, and the Figgins supporters, even if the only Figgins supporter left is Figgins himself. It would make sense if the Marlins served as Figgins' transition franchise into retirement. It would also make sense if the Marlins allowed Figgins to extend his career. We don't know where this is headed, and while we could guess, this, right here -- this is the most perfect moment.