Mariners set to add Figgins to fold
Four-year deal reportedly awaits, pending a physical
This doesn't have the makings of a quiet offseason for the Mariners, who reportedly have a preliminary agreement to sign speedy free agent third baseman Chone Figgins.
The Associated Press reported Friday night that Seattle and the 31-year-old switch-hitter have agreed on a four-year, $36 million contract, according to "a person familiar with the deal." On Friday morning, Foxsports.com first reported the two sides to be close to a deal.
The contract, pending a physical, also includes a vesting option for 2014 that would increase the deal to $45 million over five years, The AP reported.
Figgins would step in as the Mariners' everyday third baseman. And if Adrian Beltre surprises the front office by accepting arbitration, Figgins could move to second base or play left field. Either way, he would form a dangerous combo at the top of the order with Ichiro Suzuki.
Figgins batted .298 with a .395 on-base percentage, 42 stolen bases, 54 RBIs and an American League-leading 101 walks in 2009. In eight seasons in the big leagues -- all with the Angels -- he has hit .291 with a .363 on-base percentage and 280 steals.
On Thursday, the Mariners were associated with four of the most sought-after free agents this offseason, as multiple outlets reported their interest in Figgins, Jason Bay, John Lackey and Rich Harden.
The Seattle Times reported Thursday that the club is making a "concerted push" to land Bay, a 31-year-old Type A free agent. The Gonzaga University product's bat would be a welcomed addition to the lineup.
Bay, however, will command top dollar this offseason and is sure to have his share of suitors -- most notably the Red Sox, the team he was with all of last season and part of 2008.
And, besides, it's pitching that's the top priority in Seattle at the moment, and the Mariners are reportedly looking at Lackey and Harden as options to try to bolster a starting staff currently led by young ace Felix Hernandez.
FoxSports.com cited two Major League sources late Thursday night in saying the Mariners are "showing strong interest" in Harden. The franchise's location in the Pacific Northwest could help the club snag Harden, who, along with Bay, is a native of nearby British Columbia.
Harden, coming off a rough year that saw him go 9-9 with a 4.09 ERA in 26 starts while battling back problems and arm fatigue, wasn't offered arbitration by the Cubs, which could open up widespread interest in the 28-year-old right-hander.
Lackey, the top pitching prize in this year's free-agent class, is another Type A free agent who will command top dollar this offseason. FoxSports.com added that Seattle is "actively pursuing" Lackey, who, like Figgins, has spent his entire career with the Angels.
Alden Gonzalez is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.