November 10, 2009

Figgy Watch 2009

I am blogging to you live from the Big "A" in Anaheim, where I am on Figgy Watch 2009. Okay, that might be a slight exaggeration, but following Chone Figgin's journey into free agency seems like a major news event.

For those fans hoping he stays in Anaheim (myself included), there is some good news coming out of the GM meetings in Chicago today. Kenny Williams the general manager of the White Sox said they won’t be pursuing Chone Figgins. Details of his statement can be found on Inside the White Sox, the Chicago Sun Times blog. The White Sox have been the most popular destination for those predicting where Figgins might go. We've heard for a couple years now how much they covet Figgins. Well, unless Williams is playing poker here, it looks like we can cross them off the list.

Couple that report with the one from Jon Heyman of SI who claims Tony Reagins and Chone Figgins have been talking for two months and Reagins is "hopeful" something can get done. This doesn’t really tell us a whole lot, but it is very encouraging to hear they’re trying to get something done and that the interest is mutual. We'll see what happens.

More good news. The price for a team other than the Angels to acquire Figgins just went up. As noted in Yahoo’s baseball blog – Big League Stew, Figgins has been ranked as a Type "A" free agent (Figgins was previously ranked as a Type "B" free agent). That means if someone other than the Angels (who would have to offer Figgins arbitration) signs Figgins, they’ll forfeit their first round pick to the Angels (unless that team’s pick falls within the first 15 picks of next year's draft – in which case they’d lose their second round pick). Teams that lose a Type "A" free agent are also awarded a supplemental pick between the first and second rounds. Had Figgins stayed ranked as a Type "B" - the compensation to the Angels would only be a sandwich pick to the Angels between the first and second round. Supplemental picks do not cost teams that sign them any picks.

Mark Whicker of the OC Register ran down some possible destinations for Figgins, including Atlanta – which is where I predicted Figgins would land in my Let's get cookin’ in Anaheim post. Whicker notes about Atlanta: "It's close to home for Figgins, and the Braves sense they can contend next year. Figgins could succeed Garret Anderson in left field and would get some third base time on Chipper Jones' nights off. The Braves didn't have a 20-steals guy last year."

Matthew Pouliot of NBC Sports' Circling the Bases quotes Jon Heyman as now saying the Philadelphia Phillies are serious about Figgins. Poulit also lists the Cubs and Yankees as destinations to become their centerfielder. Personally, I don't see Figgins as a center fielder. Even though Figgins is very versatile; I see him as being limited to third base, second base, left field and/or right field. Again, Figgins just isn't a centerfielder.

Although he Phillies did not exercise the option for third basemen Pedro Feliz and are now in the market for his replacement. Bill Conlin of the Sports doesn't believe Philly will attempt to sign Figgins. He believes Mark DeRosa is their #1 target (even though some others believe they'll pursue Adrian Beltre) Conlin says "(Ruben) Amaro more likely will pursue Mark DeRosa... Charlie Manuel is said to love the versatility and intensity of the former Penn quarterback."

Conlin's colleague - David Murphy offers all kinds of scenarios for the Phillies third base needs, but lists Figgins as the best of the bunch. Even still, Murphy also emphasizes the Phillies fondness for DeRosa.

Let’s cross the whole state of New York off the list.

Per the New York Post, there is some chatter taking place claiming the Yankees are "plotting" to resign Johnny Damon, Hideki Matsui and Andy Pettite. I would think if they do that, they would not pursue Chone Figgins. Not that New York has been mentioned a whole lot, but any time you can take the Yankees out of the equation, the better the results might be.

The Mets don’t look like a good fit for Figgins either. According to Newsday Omar Minaya is looking for a "power hitter." The article also points out the Mets needs for first base, catcher and starting pitching.

Things are definitely cooking out there. Any team looking for a third baseman can pick from among Figgins, Beltre, Melvin Mora, Troy Glaus, Feliz, DeRosa, and perhaps Miguel Tejada (who would move from shortstop) among others. So keep your fingers crossed Figgy fans.

BallHype: hype it up!

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