Blog Entry

Chipper injury could mean opportunity for M's

Posted on: August 13, 2010 11:29 pm
Edited on: August 13, 2010 11:34 pm
Chone Figgins
The Braves are trying to hold off the surging Phillies in the National League East, and now they're minus one Hall of Fame third baseman. You'd have to think their level of desperation is high right now.

Some are suggesting the Mariners could leverage that desperation to unload an ill-advised contract. Chone Figgins couldn't replace the things Chipper Jones did, but decent major-league help is tough to come by now that the non-waiver trade deadline has passed. Only players making more than their value can slip through, and Figgins, owed a minimum of $26 million and three more years on the contract he signed last winter, is highly unlikely to be snapped up.

The Mariners and Braves reportedly had discussions about Figgins at the deadline that weren't terribly serious, but Atlanta's situation has changed. And so has Seattle's since the Mariners signed Figgins thinking they were contenders. As the Seattle Times points out, the Mariners are paying $27 million of their $90 million payroll to two players: Figgins and Ichiro Suzuki. Thirty percent of your payroll for two leadoff hitters is absurd, and you know they're not trading Ichiro.

The Braves have other options. They can move Martin Prado to third and play Omar Infante every day. They can try to trade for Baltimore's Ty Wigginton, though Wigginton is a longer shot to clear waivers. But Figgins is ridiculously hot right now (batting .405/.436/.486 in August), and despite his contract, he could make the difference in whether the Braves make the playoffs by a game or miss by a game.

Are the Braves desperate enough to make this deal? Are the Mariners willing to pick up enough of Figgins' contract to make it happen? Hard to say, but you've got to think there's at least going to be a phone call between Frank Wren and Jack Zduriencik.

-- David Andriesen

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Since: Nov 17, 2006
Posted on: August 14, 2010 9:34 pm

Chipper injury could mean opportunity for M's

While I agree with the comments about not trying to get Chone Figgins in a trade, I do disagree with those calling for Troy Glaus moving to third as a possible solution to Chipper Jones' going down for the season. Glaus is having knee problems now, and would not be able to play much at third because of limited mobility. A team could load bases by just dropping bunts down the third base line.

Since: Jul 14, 2010
Posted on: August 14, 2010 7:53 pm

Chipper injury could mean opportunity for M's

I agree let him stay with the M's and fill 3rd with Brooks and Infante.

Since: Mar 12, 2007
Posted on: August 14, 2010 7:10 pm

Chipper Should Retire with Bobby Cox

Braves need to be Brave and replace Chipper for this year and next, now if possible . Figgens is not the answer, A. Ramirez is a better option, when healthy, and the Cubs are going nowhere. Ramirez can carry a team, Figgens can spark a team. The Braves need to replace Chiiper's lumber and power if they want to hold off the Phillies.

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: August 14, 2010 6:42 pm

Chipper injury could mean opportunity for M's

I disagree on some of your points Mtuba. McClouth is without a doubt a better hitter than Langerhans could be, he did have 76 extra base hits only 2 years ago and still has the potential to turn things around once he gets further removed from his bad concussion with Heyward.

As for Kenshin, Atlanta won't likely trade him since they're working him into shape to re-join the rotation. Barring an incredible run by Mike Minor, the Braves will probably use Kenshin as the #5 starter with Medlen going down. Just as Hanson has run into some serious run support problems/bullpen collapses, Kenshin is at worst a decent #5 option unless you are going dream rotation like in video games.Wink

Besides all of those other viewpoints, Figgins isn't what the Braves need. If that were true, Hicks is already a speed upgrade.

Atlanta has been a patient team offensively, but hasn't gotten timely hitting with runners on base. Surely, Chipper was a big part of the high OBP for the Braves as a team with all the walks he drew, but getting a table setter won't help them score runs if the idea is improve in the ability to execute small ball, since that is the problem: One of execution.

Prado will fill that role as the leadoff hitter again when he returns, where he has had tremendous success. The problem is created from losing a power threat in the middle of the order and a player that can draw walks/be pitched around in the #3 hole. Glaus hasn't rebounded; yet anyway, from his 2 month long skid. I think the Braves should seriously consider calling up Freddie Freeman, whom is going to get his shot next spring at the latest anyway. He's had a good year for the local AAA team in Gwinnett here. He's worth a shot at platooning with Glaus or Hinske at 1B. Glaus and Hinske have experience at 3B, especially Glaus. Infante perhaps could fill in at 3B, as Prado likely won't move to 3B if he can't throw furtherl from favoring his finger injury, even when he returns. Either way, Infante and Conrad have been great bench depth and fill-ins in their roles. Infante as a superb utility player that can play any position and Conrad as a superb pinch hitter/late innings threat off the bench.

I say call up Freeman and send down Hicks, at least once Prado returns.

Since: Aug 21, 2006
Posted on: August 14, 2010 5:49 pm

Chipper injury could mean opportunity for M's

I couldn't agree more. There's no way the Braves should pick up the underachieving Figggi
ns and that ridiculous contract. I don't thinkthey will either. It's just not the Braves way anyways.

Since: Nov 16, 2006
Posted on: August 14, 2010 5:02 pm

Chipper injury could mean opportunity for M's

Only thing for me RevDog is that the M's would have to pay a lot of Figgins' salary because Liberty Media won't pay anything for even decent players. About the only way the Braves would take on the entire salary is if y'all took Kenshin Kawakami and Nate McClouth. Kawakami I think would blossom in Seattle, but McClouth would be, at best, your fourth outfielder/defensive replacement/base stealer. He's pretty much Ryan Langerhans, but with much less power.

In any case, if those two were given to the Mariners for Chone Figgins, the Braves would take it right now, too. I just don't see this happening, though. Frank Wren is much too in love with giving up pitching or any of the players were have in the minors right now.

Since: Aug 18, 2006
Posted on: August 14, 2010 4:39 pm

Call up Freddie Freeman to play 1B, move Glaus 3B

Freddie Freeman has just had a monster year, even after injury earlier in the season, locally here for the Gwinnett Braves. Why not go minor leagues and see if he can provide a spark like Heyward did when he came on the scene to start the season?

IMO, Freeman's ceiling is way higher than Figgins and fills a bigger need for Atlanta: Power hitter.

Glaus, Hinske, Intante, Conrad...can all split time between 3B/1B/2B/Lf etc. respective of each of their versatility.

Since Atlanta won't turn into a big time small ball team; they do walk a lot though Chipper was probably leading the team most likely, they could use a prescence in the middle of the lineup since that is what they lost in Chipper who was surging since the All-Star break.

Why change what has worked all year? You aren't going to turn into that kind of team and you risk moving Prado out of the leadoff spot which he's been most succesful in.

Since: Nov 1, 2009
Posted on: August 14, 2010 3:46 pm

Chipper injury could mean opportunity for M's

I just dont trust anything that the Mariners do anymore.  Whether it is Zduriencik or Bavasi, or anyother GM for them in the past, they just dont make good decisions.  Maybe in the long run Zduriencik will turn this team around, but i dont see it.  Seattle is just a Major League farm team that grooms its young players and gives them away for almost nothing.  If you look at the players the M's have drafted, and then let go, the names are staggering.  A-rod, Griffey, Tino Martinez, Varitek, Vizquel, Jones, Sherrill...... the list goes on.  Also, it is a place where a promising player turns to die, then rejuvinated again after being let go.  Seattle is like the small pox virus, every players unperform when they get there, or are bit by the injury bug. Then they leave and become good again. Recent example: Adrian Beltre.  So, whether they trade figgins or they keep him, it wont matter. If they keep him he will suck, if they trade him, the players they get in return will suck or will be thrown away. Like i said, Seattle Mariners are a farm team for the rest of the MLB.

Since: Mar 21, 2010
Posted on: August 14, 2010 3:34 pm

Chipper injury could mean opportunity for M's

The injury to Chipper Jones is bad news for the Braves, but this is not the time to make a trade for what amounts to a bad contract in Chone Figgins. Let the Mariners wallow in that bad that contract because there was absolutely no excuse for them to sign him really other than to spite the Angels since they already had a leadoff man in Ichiro Suzuki.

If the Braves do make a trade for Figgins where the Mariners have to eat a portion of his contract, you can rest assured the more of Figgins' contract that the Mariners have to eat, the higher the level of the prospect(s) that they are going to want in return from the Braves. This is a perfect opportunity as any that there will ever be to see how well Martin Prado and Omar Infante will perform under the pressure of a September pennant race and playoff chase on a daily basis, especially with Chipper Jones being no lock to return next season. If they falter then you can look at free agency during the offseason or a trade where you would not be dealing at a deficit because other teams know that you are desperate to plug a hole.

Since: Dec 13, 2007
Posted on: August 14, 2010 3:13 pm

Chipper injury could mean opportunity for M's

I do not think the Braves need another light-hitting infielder especially at Figgins price.  If anything, they really need someone with power to drive in runs

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