The Miami Marlins made an acquisition that should surprise no one today. It wasn't the fact that the team signed Chone Figgins specifically that shouldn't be surprising, it was the fact that the Marlins signed a low-dollar player to a contract. There is very little commitment to the Figgins deal announced today. Figgins and the Marlins have agreed to a minor league deal.
According to Joe Capozzi of the Palm Beach Post, the Marlins and Figgins have agreed to a deal that will include an invitee to big league camp during spring training. Considering the Marlins' current roster, it would seem that Figgins has a good chance of breaking camp on the 25-man roster.
#Marlins sign Chone Figgins to minor lg deal w/invite to ML camp; Bryan Petersen outrighted to NOLA w/invite to ML camp. 74 players in camp— Joe Capozzi (@joecapMARLINS) February 8, 2013
Figgins was released by the Mariners after declining production and injuries kept him from living up to the $36 million deal the club gave him back in 2009. Figgins was a fiery top of the lineup player that could be counted on to get on base and start rallies when he played for the Los Angeles Angels. When the Angels let him walk via free agency, the Mariners pounced. They gave him a four-year, $36 million deal.
Unfortunately, Figgins stumbled over the course of the last two seasons in Seattle. In his first season, 2010, Figgins performed well. There were no real indications that the team may have blew it on his contract. Figgins hit .259/.340/.306. He got on base. That's what they wanted him to do. He also played in 161 games. But after 2010, things went down hill fast.
In 2011, Figgins played in only 81 games and hit a putrid .188/.241/.243. Then in 2012, Figgins still couldn't play a full season, and he still couldn't hit. He played in 66 games and hit .181/.262/.271. He was released on November 28, 2012.
Figgins has never been viewed as the type of player that can change a franchise. He can help a team win when he's on, but when he's not, he's bad. Figgins has posted below league average OPS numbers in 7 of his 11 Major League seasons. But there's another side to him. There's the side that made the All-Star Game in 2009. There's the side that got MVP votes in 2004, 2005, 2007, and 2009. Which player will the Marlins get?