The Seattle Mariners announced the deal everyone as known about since Friday, infielder Chone Figgins signed a four-year, $36 million contract with an option for a fifth season.
Then came the surprise.
General manager Jack Zduriencik called Figgins 'an infielder' rather than a third baseman, and said it had yet to be determined where in the infield he would play.
"I think we've made it clear, we have interest in another infielder who used to be here," Zduriencik said, leaving a door open to bringing back third baseman Adrian Beltre.
"We see Chone as a great fit for our ball club," Zduriencik said in a statement. "We anticipate an exciting time watching Ichiro and Chone batting at the top of our lineup. "
Where would Figgins bat?
"First or second," Zduriencik said. "When I called to congratulate him on signing, the first thing he said was 'I'm batting second, right?'"
Figgins, 31, was a first-time All-Star last season, batting .291 for the Los Angeles, with an on-base percentage of .395 and 114 runs scored. A versatile veteran, he can play the infield or outfield, and last year stole 42 bases.
The Mariners and Figgins agreed to terms last week, but until Figgins passed a physical and team doctors signed off on the results, Zduriencik - a stickler for details - wouldn't discuss it.
So, will Beltre return and, if he does, will Figgins move to second base and force Jose Lopez to move, too?
"The picture will be a lot clearer by spring training," Zduriencik said.
Beltre, 30, declined arbitration with Seattle when it likely would have seen him agree to a one-year contract of as much as $12 million. Can the Mariners now sign him for less - and longer?
They bought out shortstop Jack Wilson's $8 million option for 2010 in October, then signed him to a two-year, $10 million deal. They might try a similar philosophy with Beltre, giving him more years at less per season than he made during his five years with the Mariners.
Today, however, Zduriencik wanted to appreciate the player he did get.
"Chone is versatile, he can run, he can bunt, play multiple positions," Zduriencik said. "He was a player we targeted early on, a unique player and a good fit.
"There are lots of ways to win games. You can win with power, with defense, with pitching, with speed. The best clubs and beat you a lot of ways, and that's our goal."