Chone Figgins on the trade market, Mariners hope to engage San Francisco

According to Jon Morosi, the Seattle Mariners are looking to trade Chone Figgins and are willing to include cash. This, of course, comes as no surprise. The Giants, apparently, are a target of interest for the Mariners, as a team that’s “in need of a leadoff guy”:

Mariners officials are hopeful that teams in need of a leadoff man will engage them in trade talks over the next few weeks. Sources say Seattle officials view Cincinnati, Detroit, and San Francisco as possible fits for Figgins.

Figgins, 33, is signed through 2013 on a four-year $36MM deal, and he has a vesting option worth $9MM for 2014 (it vests if he gets 600+ PAs in 2013). He’s a career .280/.352/.368 hitter but in the past couple years, those numbers have dropped significantly. He posted a .302 wOBA (88 wRC+) in 2010, and hit just .188/.241/.243 (.218 wOBA, 34 wRC+) last year.

He’s somewhat of a utility player, having played around the diamond throughout his career, but he’s mostly spent time at third base, second base, and centerfield. In addition to the dropoff in performance at the plate, his defensive skills seem to have eroded over the past few seasons.

Needless to say, Figgins isn’t a very attractive target (the guy was worth -1.2 wins above replacement last year). He doesn’t seem to be a great fit even if he rebounds. Bill James, who’s notoriously optimistic when it comes to projections, projects Figgins to post a .305 wOBA next season.

Even assuming that Seattle throws in a significant sum of money, it would make little sense for the Giants to acquire Figgins.

Splash Hits: Cody Ross, Pablo Sandoval, Larry Baer

Giants

An argument for Cody Ross – McCovey Chronicles
Why the San Francisco Giants should sign Cody Ross.

Panda’s (Historically?) Big Boned Cycle | FanGraphs Baseball
Less than a year ago, Sandoval was getting benched in the playoffs for the likes of Juan Uribe and Zombie Edgar Renteria less than a year ago. Today, he is the most voluptuous guy to hit for the cycle in at least 37 years.

Larry Baer: Giants’ mission won’t change much
This week’s KNBR Conversation was conducted between Brian Murphy, Paul McCaffrey and the Giants’ Larry Baer. It has been edited for length.

Lefty Malo – The Perhaps-Not-So-Difficult Andres Torres Decision
If Torres has indeed reverted back to pumpkinhood — a backup outfielder used almost exclusively for late-game D and pinch-running — he can still earn his keep.

A Suggestion For Dumping Chone Figgins | U.S.S. Mariner
My guess is that’s exactly what the M’s will try to do with Figgins this winter, and in that vein, I’d like to offer up a suggestion on one particular team to call – the San Francisco Giants.

MLB

MLB Looks at Europe as Newest Source of Baseball Talent – MLB Daily Dish
Europe certainly produces premier athletes as we can see on the basketball court and the soccer pitch, but when will we see their athletes make an impact on the baseball diamond?

Explaining OFP in scouting – SweetSpot Blog – ESPN
A scout compiles OFP by adding up all five future tool grades (hitting, power, speed, throwing and fielding), and then dividing that total by five. Scouts can then adjust the OFP by ten or so points if they please.

The Platoon Advantage: Naive PLAYOFFS+ MVP awards since 1995
A look at how PLAYOFFS+ correlates with actual MVP voting.

A Quick Look at the Toughest Batters Using Pitch Values – Beyond the Box Score
To that end I took a look at the accrued pitch value numbers for all batters with 1,000 plate appearances or more from 2008 – 11. I decided to focus on how they fared against fastballs, sliders, curve balls, and change ups since these are the major repertoire’s of most big league pitchers.

All-time NL Hispanic greats – SweetSpot Blog – ESPN
Yesterday, in recognition of Hispanic Heritage Month, we talked about one person’s list — mine alone — for the AL team’s all-time greats of Hispanic heritage, so naturally enough, let’s turn to the senior circuit and look at the best of the National League’s teams.