Everyone in Seattle hates Chone Figgins. Or as he has kindly been nicknamed, Donkey from Shrek. You can’t deny the similarity. Except, I would rather give Donkey a shot at playing third base this year. But with this post, I want to give Figgins an unbiased (if that’s possible at this point) look into what he has brought to the Mariners.
On December 8, 2009, the Mariners organization made a move that would haunt their fans for years (crap, that’s not unbiased). Chone Figgins agreed to leave the Los Angeles Angels for their division rival Seattle Mariners. This looked like a solid signing as after eight years with the Angels, Figgins was hitting .291 with 280 stolen bases. He didn’t hit for power, but that’s not what the Mariners were signing him for. They just wanted him to hit for average and steal some bases. The Mariners offered Figgins a four-year, $36 million contract with a $9 million option for 2014. Since joining the Mariners, Figgins is hitting .238 with only 50 stolen bases. At this point, it’s safe to say that the $9 million option will not be picked up in 2014, so we will just look at the $36 million that Figgins is owned over that four year period.
As of this point in the 2011 season, Figgins has “earned” $4,388,845. Add that to the $8.5 million he made last year and Figgins has made $12,888,845 in his time with Seattle. With only 203 hits in about a season and a half, Figgins is making $63,491 per hit. Based on that same math, Ichiro makes $47,748 per hit and Edgar Martinez made about $22,020 per hit. Yes, I realize that baseball players are paid for more than just hitting. My point is that the Mariners just needed Figgins to hit for a high average. Anything else would have just been a bonus.
The problem Mariners fans have with him is that he’s not doing any of it. Not even fielding. Donkey has turned the Seattle fans on him and there is nothing he can do to redeem himself. I have been known to change my stance on certain players (see: Olivo, Miguel), but nothing short of hitting over .400 and bringing the World Series to Seattle will stop me from booing every Chone Figgins at bat.