It's been assumed with Jose Lopez in Colorado that Chone Figgins would move from second base - which he played for the first time last year - back to third, where he played for years as an Angel.
Last night, Jack Zduriencik made that official, telling the Everett Herald's Kirby Arnold that the team had made the decision and told Figgins.
It makes sense on multiple levels. Defensively, Figgins was average at second base, a little better at third, where his quickness makes him effective. And Brendan Ryan, the rock-solid infielder picked up from St. Louis this year, is far better option up the middle.
More important, it gives Figgins the ability to consider 2011 a fresh start after the disaster that was 2010, when he had the kind of year so many first-time free agents have after nailing down that big contract. He sputtered at the plate and hit .300 in only one month - September - finishing at .259.
About to turn 34, Figgins will come to camp with a more familiar position, a new manager in Eric Wedge and without good friend Casey Kotchman. Their relationship continues, of course, but they did one another no favors in the clubhouse last year, where neither liked then-manager Don Wakamatsu. After too many losses to count, the two men showered, dressed and left - sometimes before the media was even allowed into the clubhouse.
Figgins is a better player than he showed last year. Even if he's not the clubhouse leader Seattle thought it was getting, if Figgins plays up to his ability, this will be an improved offense.