AP source: M’s, 3B Figgins have $36M, 4-yr deal
SEATTLE (AP) – Chone Figgins is moving up the coast in the AL West. And Seattle has a dynamic replacement for Adrian Beltre at third base – even before Beltre is officially gone.
The Mariners and Figgins have reached a preliminary agreement on a $36 million, four-year contract pending a physical, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press on Friday night.
The contract for the former Los Angeles Angels sparkplug includes a vesting option for 2014 that could make the deal worth $45 million over five years.
The person spoke on the condition of anonymity because the Mariners had yet to announce the deal, which was first reported to be close by Foxsports.com.
“Nothing to comment on,” Mariners spokesman Tim Hevly wrote in an e-mail to the AP on Friday night.
The 31-year-old Figgins is coming off one of his best seasons, leading the American League with 101 walks and posting a career-high on-base percentage of .395. The All-Star speedster batted .298 with five homers and 54 RBIs as Los Angeles won its third consecutive division title.
He is a career .291 hitter who has averaged 48 stolen bases during his eight seasons in the major leagues, all with the Angels.
Figgins gives Seattle a formidable pair at the top of its batting order with nine-time All-Star Ichiro Suzuki and a vastly different offense compared to Beltre at third. Figgins had a career-best nine homers and 62 RBIs in 2006; Beltre had hit at least 25 homers in three consecutive seasons before this year.
Beltre has until Monday to accept Seattle’s offer of salary arbitration, but it’s unlikely he’ll do it. He wants to test the free-agent market.
If Beltre declines the offer and signs with another team, Seattle will receive a compensatory pick in next June’s draft. It will be around 15 picks after the No. 18 overall choice the Mariners will surrender to sign Figgins, a Type-A free agent.
Seattle general manager Jack Zduriencik didn’t sound worried Thursday about possibly losing a first-round pick in order to gain a prime free agent.
“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,” Zduriencik said.
AP Sports Writer Ronald Blum in New York contributed to this report.