MLB Rumors: Angels Would Be Wise to Pass on Versatile IF Chone Figgins

Ian Hanford@Ian_HanfordFeatured ColumnistNovember 21, 2012

Aug 13, 2012; Seattle, WA, USA; Seattle Mariners left fielder Chone Figgins (9) throws Tampa Bay Rays third baseman Jeff Keppinger (not pictured) out at 1st base during the 3rd inning at Safeco Field. Mandatory Credit: Steven Bisig-US PRESSWIRE

Chone Figgins was an All Star-caliber utility player in his first stint with the Los Angeles Angels, but he's not that player anymore.

After joining the Seattle Mariners in 2010, he never hit higher than .260—jumping down to .181 in 2012. That's probably why the Mariners designated him for assignment on Tuesday.

The Associated Press had the report (via Seattle Post Intelligencer):

The Mariners finally conceded the deal didn't work, designating Figgins for assignment Tuesday night. Cutting ties with Figgins was one of a number of moves the Mariners made to get their 40-man roster set.

It's easy to say that Figgins just needs a change of scenery to find himself again, and maybe his old team would be the best fit, but the Angels don't need him.

According to's Alden Gonzalez, "A source with knowledge of the team’s thinking said Tuesday night that Figgins is 'not likely to be a fit' for the Angels in 2013."

Let's hope it stays that way for the Angels' sake. Figgins wouldn't take up a younger player's playing time, but he may not come cheap.

Paying more than minimum is a risk for a player like this. Not only is he 34 years old, but he's coming off three terrible seasons. Assuming he would adapt to Los Angeles' bright lights just wouldn't make sense, especially because his presence is not needed from a personnel standpoint.

The Angels already have Alberto Callaspo at third and several options at utility infield. Figgins is capable of playing every outfield spot as well, but his strengths are in the infield.

Figgins has lost almost all value. Sure, he can still play everywhere, but he's lost his speed (four steals in 2012) and everything else that comes with it. He doesn't hit for contact, and he's never hit for power.

Skill-set wise, Figgins is still one of the most interesting players in the league. True utility players are difficult to come by, but the Angels should let another team embark on this rejuvenation project. He's had his run there, and there's no need to start another.