The Mariners have a dilemma brewing at third base.
They signed Chone Figgins to a four-year, $36 million, free agent contract prior to the 2010 season. In his first year with the Mariners he hit .265, but needed a hot second half to reach that number.
This year he is hitting .188.
It is safe to say the deal is a bust-at least to this point. One hopes he makes a come back in 2012 and be the player he was with the Angels.
Trader Jack not smiling at Figgins 2010 signing. Was he seeing the future?
But down in Tacoma is 22-year-old Alex Liddi, a free agent signing out of Italy when he was a teenager. At High Desert in 2009 he hit .345 with 23 homers and 104 rbis. Last Year at West Tennessee he hit .281 with 15 homers, 92 rbis. In Tacoma this year, a .263 average, 25 homers and 88 rbis.
He is still young and might be in Tacoma another season.
I expected he would be called up instead of Kyle Seager. Kyle had been promoted to Tacoma and hit .387 in 24 games. The Mariners drafted Seager in the third round of 2009, the year they drafted his North Carolina teammate Dustin Ackley in the first round; so maybe because he is older at 23, and highly touted , the Mariners wanted a closer look at Seager.
Even if they like Seager better than Liddi, will either one be able to displace Figgins when teams feel the need to play high salaried stars no matter how poorly they play.
Seager smiling at his future?
Seattle could always trade either Seager or Liddi in the off-season. They might even be able to unload Figgins, though that is unlikely as teams would not want to pay big money for a struggling player.
It seems more likely they will keep all three as Seager and Liddi provide insurance if Figgins gets off to another slow start in 2012.
Will the Mariners feel a need to play Figgins, or continue to go youth as in Ackley, Carp, Robinson, Halman, and Liddi or Seager?
That is a dilemma.