Figgins and the Mariners have reportedly agreed in principle to a four-year deal worth between $34-$36 million, with a fifth year that can be vested with playing time worth another $9 million.
Asked by the Los Angeles Times about Figgins, Angels general manager Tony Reagins sounded like a man who'd lost a player."They told me they're very close to making a decision, one way or the other," Reagins said. "We've made an offer. We have a good group of players that can play third base and left field. We have depth there. I think we're covered."
Signing Figgins would have the double benefit for the Mariners of strengthening their team and weakening Los Angeles, which has won the division title three consecutive years.
At 5-foot-9, Figgins is precisely the kind of versatile player general manager Zduriencik wants to add to his roster - and a top-of-the-lineup hitter who blossomed in the Angels minor league system when Don Wakamatsu managed there in 2000.
On a team that will have to manufacture runs in 2010, Figgins excels at it. Capable of playing third base, second base and the outfield, he would bring Seattle a combination of solid defense, speed and patience at the plate.
Last season Figgins, 31, batted .298, walked 101 times, stole 42 bases and scored 114 runs.
For a team that was last in the AL in scoring having Figgins at the top of the batting order - probably behind leadoff hitter Ichiro Suzuki - would allow Wakamatsu to play small ball when needed.
Not surprisingly, the bidding for Figgins was heated, with the Angels making offers late into the day Friday. The Mariners declined to comment on reports throughout the day Friday.
If Figgins passes his physical this weekend, the signing could be announced Monday at the winter meetings in Indianapolis. Oddly enough, that’s also the day the Mariners will learn whether third baseman Adrian Beltre accepts their offer of arbitration.
Should he accept, Beltre would likely ask for about what he made in 2009 - $12.5 million - and the Mariners would counter with a figure no more than 20 per cent less than that. And if Beltre returns, Figgins would likely move to left field, and Seattle would have spent most of its available cash on two players.
If Beltre declines the offer and signs with another team, Seattle would receive a compensatory pick in next June's draft, though it wouldn’t be as high as the No. 18 pick they’d lose by signing Figgins.
Beltre, who spent the last five years as a Mariner, hasn’t found the market he and agent Scott Boras have been seeking, which might make a one-year deal in Seattle more attractive. Boras has been seeking a four-year contract and getting little interest.