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Thread: Chone Figgins to Seattle?

  1. #31
    Box of Frogs edabbs44's Avatar
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    Re: Chone Figgins to Seattle?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Servo View Post
    Seconded.


    Still, I agree with your point. Figgins colossal collapse isn't a thing anyone could see coming.
    Anyone is a lot of people.

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    Re: Chone Figgins to Seattle?

    But I used alliteration and even made up a term. Mine was much closer to Shakespeare.
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    Re: Chone Figgins to Seattle?

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    There were plenty of reasons.

    1) He was a dead average hitter during his time with the Angels, generating more value with his legs than his bat. A guy like that heading into his 30s is generally a shaky investment.
    I don't think anyone has suggested that Figgins has lost a step. His problems have not been due to an inability to leg out infield hits in Seattle. If any one thing could be pointed to, it's that the Ms asked him to change his approach at the plate and it wasn't a bright idea.

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    2) Outside of 2009 he never was a standout defender.
    This is not the case. Figgins had the reputation of having excellent defense at third and being a passable defender up the middle (second, third, center field). In short, he was thought to be a very flexible defender who brought real value to the corner and wouldn't hurt you up the middle for short stretches if needed.

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    3) Outside of 2009 he never posted a gaudy BB rate.
    2009, while a season of great results for Chone, was not the reason Seattle signed him.

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    4) Age and Safeco robbed him of what little power he had, and once that was gone pitchers overpowered him.
    As an M, Figgins wasn't really that different in Safeco or on the road. Also, the majority of his PA's come from the left side and Safeco doesn't really sap power from that side of the plate. Besides, Chone has always been a GB/LD hitter-not the type that the left field gap and Puget Sound eat up.

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    As an aside, I certainly hope the Mariners didn't pay him $9 million a year to be average. Seattle had the worst offense in the AL in 2009 and needed to spend on players who could improve that sorry state of affairs.
    Your argument keeps coming back to 2009, apparently as part of a greater argument that his contract was the result of a career year during his contract year. However, the Ms certainly didn't pay him like they expected a 7 WAR player. They paid him like they expected a league average starting position player. They targeted him because he had above average on base skills and a skill set that would fit nicely in the two hole behind Ichiro while his defensive flexibility should have conferred roster flexibility. Figgins fit the bill as a type of player that "would have improved their sorry state of affairs". He was supposed to be the ultimate roster glue.

    Were the expectations for Figgins wrong in the end? Yes. But not because the Ms expected anything like 2009. They were wrong because Figgins fell off of the cliff in a way that I doubt anyone saw coming.

    If there is a lesson here, it's not derived from his contract. I think the underlying message is don't take a player whose offensive value is derived from a patient approach at the plate and force the guy to become Mr. Aggressive (this is a condemnation of the Mariners culture that has been a problem since before Figgins ever put on an Ms uni). Also, it is clear that Figgins was miscast as a full-time second baseman. That's probably another bright idea that in hindsight looks like a dim bulb.

    I think Figgins more than anything points to a disconnect between the FO and the way things are orchestrated on the field. There seems to be a schism and this ultimately might be the crack in the foundation that gets Z fired.
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

  5. #34
    Unsolicited Opinions traderumor's Avatar
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    Re: Chone Figgins to Seattle?

    When I looked at Figgins' hitting performance with the Angels, which was a picture of volatility, every other year good/bad, in other words inconsistent, I think M2 raises valid points that the M's lost it on that one and the level of downside risk was high and foreseeable. It is a hard sell to emphasize defensive prowess as a primary basis in support of that contract. Sometimes our favorite team fails and its hard to admit. The M's are certainly in a down cycle, with Figgins a poster child for a series of poor decisions. Now they are so desperate that they are blaming it on the ballpark.

    My favorite team took the opposite approach and decided it was more bad pitchers than the ballpark. The M's seem to not want to admit that they've had bad hitters in addition to a pitcher friendly park. If you want to mitigate a feature of your ballpark, get better players to put in it. Works every time.
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    Re: Chone Figgins to Seattle?

    Good posts by both sides of the argument: i don't think anyone can forsee that kind of drop in his babip- that really led to him falling off the cliff.

    M2 makes a good point about playing him at 2nd.

    I also believe there is a shift taking place where when steroids were a part of the game - players didn't fall off the cliff at age 32. Steroids extended their youth and helped them hang on to 90% of what they were. I'm not sure teams saw that coming.

    I do think he's due for a correction - due mostly to an increase in babip, but i'd rather not be a part of it.

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    Re: Chone Figgins to Seattle?

    Quote Originally Posted by Dom Heffner View Post
    Figgins had an unsustainable year, though he did walk a bit more than he normally does. He came back down to earth towards the end of the year, too. Pass, though his name does rock.

    He's a local kid for us- went to Brandon High School in Tampa.
    Good call Dom

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    Re: Chone Figgins to Seattle?

    Quote Originally Posted by edabbs44 View Post
    Anyone is a lot of people.
    Sure some people predicted that the deal would go bust on Seattle, but a .585 OPS and two years of sub .190 batting averages? People were predicting that?
    "Since I've been with the Reds in 1989, we've never had a farm system this loaded," Bowden said. "If we were the New York Yankees and had unlimited dollars, we could have traded for Colon, (Jeff) Weaver, Rolen, (Cliff) Floyd, (Kenny) Rogers and Finley and gotten them all -- and still held onto our top five prospects. That's an amazing statement."

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    Re: Chone Figgins to Seattle?

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Servo View Post
    Sure some people predicted that the deal would go bust on Seattle, but a .585 OPS and two years of sub .190 batting averages? People were predicting that?
    When you stay away from the sewer because you know it smells, that it was actually even more rotten seems unimportant.
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    Re: Chone Figgins to Seattle?

    Quote Originally Posted by traderumor View Post
    When you stay away from the sewer because you know it smells, that it was actually even more rotten seems unimportant.
    You've went from talking yourself into thinking you knew Figgins was definately a risk to now being certain he would fall off of a cliff.

    Yet you say I'm the one with a bias because I formulated a rational argument several years go and still think its valid with the benefit of hindsight.

    Interesting.
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

  11. #40
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    Re: Chone Figgins to Seattle?

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    This is not the case. Figgins had the reputation of having excellent defense at third and being a passable defender up the middle (second, third, center field). In short, he was thought to be a very flexible defender who brought real value to the corner and wouldn't hurt you up the middle for short stretches if needed.
    No, he did not have an excellent defensive reputation at 3B prior to 2009. He was versatile, but no one called him an elite defender. The Angels certainly didn't think he was. Then he had an out-of-body experience, which briefly got him this supposed reputation. You can insist otherwise, but it's simply not so. I suspect the reason you're not going into your hip pocket for the defensive stats on this one is because you've looked them up and seen that his 2009 season stands out like a sore thumb. Prior to and after 2009 he was nothing special at 3B. Solid, but nowhere near excellent.

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    Your argument keeps coming back to 2009, apparently as part of a greater argument that his contract was the result of a career year during his contract year. However, the Ms certainly didn't pay him like they expected a 7 WAR player. They paid him like they expected a league average starting position player. They targeted him because he had above average on base skills and a skill set that would fit nicely in the two hole behind Ichiro while his defensive flexibility should have conferred roster flexibility. Figgins fit the bill as a type of player that "would have improved their sorry state of affairs". He was supposed to be the ultimate roster glue.
    Listen, the Mariners made so many mistakes it's nearly impossible to list them all. Frankly, your assertion makes the M's sound even dopier than they are. If they threw $36 million at a guy who was merely going to be run-of-the-mill, then that front office is a lost cause.

    When you have the worst offense in your league, your fix had better not be bringing in Mr. Average.

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    Were the expectations for Figgins wrong in the end? Yes. But not because the Ms expected anything like 2009. They were wrong because Figgins fell off of the cliff in a way that I doubt anyone saw coming.
    How far he fell was a surprise, that he fell wasn't terribly surprisingly. He was a 32-year-old who had been an average hitter during his career (and traderumor noted his annual volatility). Of course his bat started tailing off. And you're wrong about Figgins' undoing. His BB rate stayed fairly high his first season in Seattle (above his career average). It was his power that tanked first. Safeco might not have wiped out all other LH hitters, but Figgins turned into one of the weeniest hitters on the planet (.306 SLG, .047 ISO). The combination of age and park congealed into a toxic substance. Once pitchers realized he couldn't do anything to hurt them, they started pounding him, and the downward spiral ensued.

    And no team in baseball preaches the goodess of swinging the bat more than the Angels, so if the Mariners were telling him to be aggressive at the plate it would have been a continuation of the coaching he'd been receiving his whole career.

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    I think Figgins more than anything points to a disconnect between the FO and the way things are orchestrated on the field. There seems to be a schism and this ultimately might be the crack in the foundation that gets Z fired.
    I think Figgins points to an organization that foolishly believed all it needed was pitching and defense to win. The Mariners treated offense like an inconsequential concern and their attack now plays like an homage to their first famous player: Mario Mendoza.
    Last edited by M2; 11-23-2012 at 01:22 AM.
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    Posting in Dynarama M2's Avatar
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    Re: Chone Figgins to Seattle?

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    Yet you say I'm the one with a bias because I formulated a rational argument several years go and still think its valid with the benefit of hindsight.
    I have no idea what argument you formulated on Figgins three years ago. If it was based on him not declining in his 30s, I'd argue that wasn't terribly rational. If it was that a guy you expected to be kind of average was what the Mariners needed to improve their terrible offense, then that wasn't rational either.

    More to the point, after Figgins went belly up and the Mariners have finished 14th in the AL in all three slashline categories plus scoring for three years running, I'd hope you'd recognize that you misread the tea leaves on this one.

    Don't be that guy. Let it go.
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    Re: Chone Figgins to Seattle?

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    I have no idea what argument you formulated on Figgins three years ago. If it was based on him not declining in his 30s, I'd argue that wasn't terribly rational. If it was that a guy you expected to be kind of average was what the Mariners needed to improve their terrible offense, then that wasn't rational either.

    More to the point, after Figgins went belly up and the Mariners have finished 14th in the AL in all three slashline categories plus scoring for three years running, I'd hope you'd recognize that you misread the tea leaves on this one.

    Don't be that guy. Let it go.
    Rather than lecturing on tea leaves, how about just reading the thread? It's a short one.

    If you think it's irrational to add on base skills to the top of an offensively challenged line up through adding a guy who was a plus defender at third and good enough to play stretches up the middle, then really I see no way to help you out of the snark corner you've trapped yourself into.

    I guess you could start by explaining why a guy who was an above average player in 5 of his 6 seasons as a starter for the Angels should've been expected to fall off of a cliff the second he left Anaheim.

    Pour boiling water over the tea. Using lukewarm hindsight just yields something that tastes like gnat's pee.
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

  14. #43
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    Re: Chone Figgins to Seattle?

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    No, he did not have an excellent defensive reputation at 3B prior to 2009. He was versatile, but no one called him an elite defender. The Angels certainly didn't think he was. Then he had an out-of-body experience, which briefly got him this supposed reputation. You can insist otherwise, but it's simply not so. I suspect the reason you're not going into your hip pocket for the defensive stats on this one is because you've looked them up and seen that his 2009 season stands out like a sore thumb. Prior to and after 2009 he was nothing special at 3B. Solid, but nowhere near excellent.
    In 5300 defensive innings at third base (approximately 4 and a half seasons worth of playing time), UZR rates Figgins as a +8.8 UZR/150 glove while Dewans graded him out as a +4.5 glove. I call that excellent defense and it's likely most people would be comfortable with such a characterization.

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    Listen, the Mariners made so many mistakes it's nearly impossible to list them all. Frankly, your assertion makes the M's sound even dopier than they are. If they threw $36 million at a guy who was merely going to be run-of-the-mill, then that front office is a lost cause.
    At least the argument has shifted from the incorrect assertion that Figgins was overpaid based upon being a one year wonder.

    Figgins projected to be something like a 3.5 WAR player coming into the 2010 season based upon his entire body of work up to that point. Given normal regression, that would mean that Figgins might be expected to track something like:

    2010: 3.5
    2011: 3.0
    2012: 2.5
    2013: 2.0

    Given the market at the time, the Ms paid him like he would be expected to be a 2 WAR player across the board. So a week before they added Cliff Lee, the Ms signed a very versatile position player who to that point had exhibited significantly above average on base skills (OBP =.363) and had been an above average position player for his entire career as an Angel. He was coming off of a career year, yet they signed him to a contract that essentially regressed him to a league average player. Frankly there wasn't a player on the free agent market that appeared to be a better fit for their roster or really for Safeco.

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    How far he fell was a surprise, that he fell wasn't terribly surprisingly. He was a 32-year-old who had been an average hitter during his career (and traderumor noted his annual volatility). Of course his bat started tailing off.
    His contract significantly regressed his 2009 performance (and frankly his trueskill to that point in his career). I don't think a single person has argued that he shouldn't have been expected to decline with age-certainly it would be a mischaracterization of my position to suggest I've made such an argument. Again, no one expected him to walk off a cliff during his first April as an Mariner especially since speed tends to age much better than other tools.

    Quote Originally Posted by M2 View Post
    I think Figgins points to an organization that foolishly believed all it needed was pitching and defense to win. The Mariners treated offense like an inconsequential concern and their attack now plays like an homage to their first famous player: Mario Mendoza.
    I think you've constructed a narrative about Seattle and have used hindsight concerning Figgins to construct a conclusion consistent with your narrative.

    Would I have preferred that the Ms had signed Matt Holliday that off season? Well sure-especially with hindsight. The Ms had about $20-25M to spend that off season and they chose to spend $17M of it on 1) player whose on base skills were badly needed at the top of their lineup and whose versatility was badly needed on their roster (Figgins; $9M) and 2) on a player who was the best left-handed pitcher in baseball (Cliff Lee; $8M). This all with the backdrop of them working out an extension for King Felix, one of the best right-handed pitchers in baseball, that offseason as well. Besides, Matt Holliday was not coming to Seattle even if the Ms matched the $17M/yr that the Cards gave him.

    Was Figgins a colossal flop? That is obvious. Not a single person has argued otherwise. Should anyone argue three years later that they knew it was going to turn out this way? Equally obvious, the answer to that is no.
    "This isnít stats vs scouts - this is stats and scouts working together, building an organization that blends the best of both worlds. This is the blueprint for how a baseball organization should be run. And, whether the baseball men of the 20th century like it or not, this is where baseball is going."---Dave Cameron, U.S.S. Mariner

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    Re: Chone Figgins to Seattle?

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    You've went from talking yourself into thinking you knew Figgins was definately a risk to now being certain he would fall off of a cliff.

    Yet you say I'm the one with a bias because I formulated a rational argument several years go and still think its valid with the benefit of hindsight.

    Interesting.
    I was commenting on the rationale of the poster's argument, not my own position.
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  16. #45
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    Re: Chone Figgins to Seattle?

    Quote Originally Posted by jojo View Post
    In 5300 defensive innings at third base (approximately 4 and a half seasons worth of playing time), UZR rates Figgins as a +8.8 UZR/150 glove while Dewans graded him out as a +4.5 glove. I call that excellent defense and it's likely most people would be comfortable with such a characterization.



    At least the argument has shifted from the incorrect assertion that Figgins was overpaid based upon being a one year wonder.

    Figgins projected to be something like a 3.5 WAR player coming into the 2010 season based upon his entire body of work up to that point. Given normal regression, that would mean that Figgins might be expected to track something like:

    2010: 3.5
    2011: 3.0
    2012: 2.5
    2013: 2.0

    Given the market at the time, the Ms paid him like he would be expected to be a 2 WAR player across the board. So a week before they added Cliff Lee, the Ms signed a very versatile position player who to that point had exhibited significantly above average on base skills (OBP =.363) and had been an above average position player for his entire career as an Angel. He was coming off of a career year, yet they signed him to a contract that essentially regressed him to a league average player. Frankly there wasn't a player on the free agent market that appeared to be a better fit for their roster or really for Safeco.



    His contract significantly regressed his 2009 performance (and frankly his trueskill to that point in his career). I don't think a single person has argued that he shouldn't have been expected to decline with age-certainly it would be a mischaracterization of my position to suggest I've made such an argument. Again, no one expected him to walk off a cliff during his first April as an Mariner especially since speed tends to age much better than other tools.



    I think you've constructed a narrative about Seattle and have used hindsight concerning Figgins to construct a conclusion consistent with your narrative.

    Would I have preferred that the Ms had signed Matt Holliday that off season? Well sure-especially with hindsight. The Ms had about $20-25M to spend that off season and they chose to spend $17M of it on 1) player whose on base skills were badly needed at the top of their lineup and whose versatility was badly needed on their roster (Figgins; $9M) and 2) on a player who was the best left-handed pitcher in baseball (Cliff Lee; $8M). This all with the backdrop of them working out an extension for King Felix, one of the best right-handed pitchers in baseball, that offseason as well. Besides, Matt Holliday was not coming to Seattle even if the Ms matched the $17M/yr that the Cards gave him.

    Was Figgins a colossal flop? That is obvious. Not a single person has argued otherwise. Should anyone argue three years later that they knew it was going to turn out this way? Equally obvious, the answer to that is no.
    But aren't post mortem's on signings important to learning? Maybe this discussion isn't so much about "I told you so" as it is "what can we learn from this flop." At least that's what I see. Some want to make it into that old RZ favorite, which has even been debated, in "I called it" and "no you didn't," "yes I did," "no you didn't." Fun.
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