Welcome to Seattle, Figgy!

It may take awhile for M’s fan to remember that they should be excited, instead of perturbed, when you come to the plate. The fact that you are donning navy and teal, instead of devil red (who decided that was a good color for a team named “angels” anyway?) should be there first reminder 🙂

 


It’s official: Figgins signs four-year deal with M’s | Seattle PI

Terms of the deal were not disclosed, but the Associated Press has reported the contract at $36 million, with a possible vested option for another $9 million for the fifth season.
“We see Chone as a great fit for our ball club and the city of Seattle,” Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik said in a statement released by the team. “We anticipate an exciting time watching Ichiro and Chone batting at the top of our lineup.
“He is an athletic player with speed and versatility. He also brings tremendous character and positive energy to our organization.”
Figgins, 31, made his first All-Star team last season and hit .291 with 114 runs scored while leading the American League with 101 walks.

Figgins played four different positions last season with the Los Angeles Angels, appearing in 154 games at third base, two each at second and shortstop and one in left field.
When a baseball team wins 85 games despite its consistent struggle to score in bunches, the knee-jerk presumption is that they must acquire power. But there are different ways to push runs across the plate, and one of them is to capitalize on the threat of a speedy leadoff man by assuring there’s just as much speed behind him.
Ichiro-Figgins represents the sort of one-two leadoff punch the Mariners haven’t had since Randy Winn typically batted behind Ichiro in 2003 and 2004. And though Winn was fast – he stole 44 bases over those two seasons – he wasn’t as fast as Figgins, who had 42 steals this past season.
Only once, in their 33-year history, have Mariners opened a season with two men at the top of the order who’d go on to steal at least 25 bases. That was in 2001, when Ichiro (56 steals) and Mike Cameron (34) combined to create dynamic tension on the basepaths.
The ’01 Mariners were nothing if not versatile; it’s easy to forget that their almost daily rallies often began by exerting pressure on a pitcher and a catcher – and all the infielders, as well – with speed. No matter that Cameron eventually was replaced by Mark McLemore as the No. 2 hitter in 2001 – McLemore stole 37 bases when he batted second.
Stolen bases, of course, are only a slight measure of a No. 2 hitter’s effectiveness. He must make contact, hit the ball to either side, and put down the occasional bunt. Figgins can do all those things, and while his ability to draw walks makes him more of a prototype leadoff hitter, Ichiro is comfortable in that role. As long as Ichiro is maintaining his All-Star skills, and breaking hitting records that had survived a century, it’s sensible to assemble a batting order with his preference foremost in the equation.
So Ichiro leads off, followed by Figgins, and already Don Wakamatsu has one less conundrum on his hands. The manager never did settle on a successful No. 2 hitter last season, opening with Franklin Gutierrez, who was better suited in the middle of the lineup.

“I’m batting second, right?” Figgins asked Mariners general manager Jack Zduriencik on Tuesday.
:::
Ichiro-Figgins represents the sort of one-two leadoff punch the Mariners haven’t had since Randy Winn typically batted behind Ichiro in 2003 and 2004. And though Winn was fast – he stole 44 bases over those two seasons – he wasn’t as fast as Figgins, who had 42 steals this past season.
Only once, in their 33-year history, have Mariners opened a season with two men at the top of the order who’d go on to steal at least 25 bases. That was in 2001, when Ichiro (56 steals) and Mike Cameron (34) combined to create dynamic tension on the basepaths.
The ’01 Mariners were nothing if not versatile; it’s easy to forget that their almost daily rallies often began by exerting pressure on a pitcher and a catcher – and all the infielders, as well – with speed. No matter that Cameron eventually was replaced by Mark McLemore as the No. 2 hitter in 2001 – McLemore stole 37 bases when he batted second.