Good news, Angel fans. Chone Figgins will be sticking with the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim. No, he hasn’t signed a contract or reached a preliminary agreement or anything like that. In fact, I don’t know if Tony Reagins has even spoken with Chone’s agent in the last month. What I do know is that you can’t overcome common sense and common sense strongly dictates that Chone will be getting Figgy with it in Anaheim for the next several years.
Get used to seeing Chone as an Angel because it won’t be changing anytime soon.
Figgins is supposedly a hot commodity on the free agent market, but thus far he hasn’t exactly received an overwhelming amount of attention, but that doesn’t mean he is being sought after, it just isn’t like he has half the league chasing him like John Lackey does. The signing period is about to begin, but only four teams have expressed significant interest in Figgins. The problem is that those four teams are the White Sox, Yankees, Mets, and Phillies who are all teams capable of reeling in big fish free agents. However, this is going to be the one that got away from all of them for several reasons, let’s look at why:
White Sox: It seems like the ChiSox have been after Chone for years and now they finally have their chance to get him, but it seems that they have mismanaged their payroll to the point that they might soon have to drop out of the Figgins sweepstakes altogether. The White Sox started the off-season with a tight payroll and a hole at third base. Instead of saving their meager budget room for Chone, they went and traded for Mark Teahen to take over at third base. That pretty much means that if they still want Figgy they are going to have to convince him to work for cheap and in a super-utility role. In other words, it isn’t going to happen.
Yankees: What could possibly be worse than losing Figgins to the Yankees? Well, probably a lot of things like being eaten alive by rabid badgers, but still, it would be pretty bad and probably just as likely. We all know the Yankees have more money than God, but even they seem unlikely to be able to buy Figgins off. The main reason for this is that Chone has worked too hard and too long at becoming a top notch defensive third baseman to get moved off the hot corner now that he is finally getting the recognition he deserves. The best that the Yankees can do is promise Chone the starting left field job and I just don’t think that is going to entice him in the least.
Mets: The Mets are basically in the same situation as the Yankees, only with less money. David Wright is entrenched at third base and for now the Mets have Luis Castillo at second base. It is possible that the Mets could jettison Castillo and give second base over to Chone, but it still isn’t third base and that just isn’t going to do it for Figgy, especially on a Met team that just can’t seem to get their affairs in order and become the contender they should be.
Phillies: If anyone is going to steal Figgins from the Angels, it is the Phillies. They have a glaring need at third base, enough money to get a deal done and a line-up that embraces speedsters like Chone. There is one problem though. Philadelphia already has two Figgy’s already. Jimmy Rollins and Shane Victorino are both leadoff types and neither of them are leaving town or the top of the order anytime soon. That would mean Figgy would get to spend the final years of his career batting seventh or eighth in a National League line-up. I have a hard time believing that Figgy has spent so much time working on his approach and plate discipline over the last several years only to wind up as an 8-hole hitter a year after proving himself as one of the best leadoff hitters in the league.
Smile, Chone, you get to stay with the team the raised you.
That pretty much just leaves the Angels who will be more than willing to keep Chone at third base, at the top of the order and handsomely paid, oh, and they are the team that actually gave him a shot at becoming an everyday player when everyone else though he was nothing more than a nice utilityman. I can’t see why he would want to go anywhere else.