If you take the Mariners at their word then Chone Figgins is their third baseman. But a closer look shows a crowded position with many possibilities.
One who will head back to the minors is 21-year old Francisco Martinez whom they received from Detroit in the Doug Fister trade. He has the reputation of a good hitter and through Friday the 9th he is 3-8 in spring games.
They could turn to Kyle Seager who the M’s are high on and is 4-15 with a home run this spring, or another young player with more power than Seager, and that is Alex Liddi, 5-11 with 3 doubles, but he has contact problems and may be sent to Tacoma.
Then there is someone off the radar a bit and that is Mariner minor league player of the year in 2011, Vinnie Catricala. In 71 games with High Desert he hit .351, was promoted to AA Jackson and hit .347 in 62 games. Combined he had 25 homers and 106 rbis.
He is listed as a left fielder on the roster and that might be his future with the team, but consider the following. In his minor league career he has played 58 games in left, 88 at first base and 133 at the hot corner. So it is not out of the question he could return to third. He is 2-7 with a home run this spring.
The Mariners like moving young minor league players around at different spots. It is a good plan, because there is always a need at certain positions on the big club and who can best fit in and is ready gets the call.
Yes the M’s said Figgins is their third baseman. It is early, but he is 2-13 this spring. He is a veteran and has a big contract they are stuck with and that sometimes overrules the best player with the best chance of helping the team.
But if they decide to move on without Chone the Mariners are well prepared. Next man up.