When the Mariners called up Dustin Ackley a couple weeks ago, most of you probably thought that the team would be done calling up top infield prospects for a while. Well, you'd be wrong. Earlier today, the club announced that they've promoted Kyle Seager to the majors to take over at third base, essentially marking the end of the Chone Figgins era.
Figgins is in just the second year of a four-year, $36 million contract, but his play has deteriorated to the point that he was arguably the worst everyday player in baseball before losing his full-time job a few weeks ago. With the call-up of Seager, Figgins will be firmly entrenched on the bench until further notice, as the 23-year-old is generally viewed as the team's third baseman of the future given the presence of Ackley at second base.
While Seager doesn't profile as a traditional third baseman with big power, he offers strong on-base skills, gap power and a solid glove- considering the whole package, he should provide a major upgrade on Figgins through the end of the season. It remains to be seen what exactly the Mariners plan to do with the former Angels star, but Figgins has played so poorly this year that it's becoming difficult for the team to justify even giving him a roster spot, let alone his $9 million salary.
A release may be in the future for Figgins- his role on the team is now practically non-existent, with Ackley at second, Seager at third and Adam Kennedy backing both of them up. Mariners GM Jack Zduriencik has generally gotten a lot of good press for his work with the team so far, but we chalk up his first major free agent signing, Figgins, as one of the worst long-term contracts to be handed out in recent memory.