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Typical Player Speak or Dead Deal?

January 29, 2011

Chone Figgins was at Mariners FanFest today and discussed the rumors regarding a proposed trade between the Mariners and Athletics with the Seattle Times’ Larry Stone. As per Stone:

“I always said, it’s a great thing to be wanted,” he [Chone Figgins] said. “But I want to win here. I’ve said all along, this has been one of the best places I’ve ever played — the city, the fans. I’ll always love playing here. This is where I want to be, and until they force me out of here, this is where I’m going to be.”

Figgins, of course, has a say in the matter, because he has limited no-trade rights — including the power to veto a trade to Oakland, the team mentioned in Friday’s rumor. I asked him what he would do if he was presented with an Oakland trade and asked if he would waive his no-trade rights.

“I want to be here,” he replied. “Like I said, I want to be here.”

That’s not quite a definitive no, but when combined with his other comments, pretty close, I’d say.

I always find it fascinating and wonder what happens behind closed doors, but is this typical “I am happy to be here” crap so as not to further deteriorate an already poor relationship with Mariners fans in case he does in fact have to continue suiting up with the M’s in 2011 and beyond?  Nobody knows but Figgins himself.

Given that there were rumors of Toronto being involved in this deal, is there a chance that Kevin Kouzmanoff could still be headed to Canada? I don’t see how a deal goes through, the Blue Jays depth chart at present shows the third baseman being Jose Bautista with Adam Lind at first and Edwin Encarnacion at designated hitter. I think any move for Bautista would be completely buying high and a poor decision. I have little faith in a guy who never had more than 16 home runs previously suddenly hitting 54 and expecting that to keep up. Nor do I anticipate Toronto dealing him when it appears as if they want to sign him long-term (so somebody at least believes in his newfound power). If it is Encarnacion they are after the first question has to be, why didn’t you sign him while you had him? But second of all why would we really want Encarnacion? Using Bill James’ similarity scores, the #2 most similar player to Edwin Encarnacion is… Kevin Kouzmanoff. The Blue Jays aren’t moving Adam Lind and we don’t want his .287 OBP either. So I just don’t see how Kouzmanoff is moved to Toronto unless a third team gets involved.

Here’s hoping that Chone Figgins is just playing his role, Jack Zduriencik is playing his role, and somehow we get the upgrade at third base we so desperately need.

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