When it came, Figgins was still around. Outfielder Casper Wells, who has seen more playing time of late than the demoted Figgins, was not. The team sent him back to Class AAA Tacoma.
Figgins, the one-time third baseman who had been the left fielder for most of the year before being taken out of the starting lineup at the beginning of the month, has played in just four games, getting five at-bats, since May 3.
But manager Eric Wedge said that moving Figgins, who has been a disappointment since signing a four-year deal three years ago, off the roster was never a consideration.
"Not right now," Wedge said before the Mariners' 3-0 loss to the Angels Thursday. "Right now, that's not even an option for us. With Chone ... we wanted to give him every opportunity to get back on track. We feel like we did that, leading him off, switching his role a little bit, and it didn't work out.
"So now, he's a utility player and a super utility player at that. He gives us protection. We'll play him when we need him. We'll use him how we see fit to help us win ballgames and go from there. You knew that that was the next option if it didn't work out. And that's where we are right now."
The words say one thing, but the fact is that Wedge doesn't use Figgins much -- just four times in three weeks. If he doesn't get back in Wedge's good graces, Figgins isn't likely to finish the season on the Seattle roster, no matter the cost.
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