The Mariners are on the verge of signing free-agent infielder Chone Figgins to a four-year, $36 million contract, according to major-league sources.
Article continues below ...
The two sides are “very close” to a deal, one source said — a deal that would be a serious blow to Figgins’ previous team, the Angels.
The contact will include a $9 million vesting option for 2013, bringing the potential value of the package to $45 million.
A few “loose ends” remain in the negotiations, according to one of the sources, and the deal will be pending a physical.
A spokesman for the Mariners said the team hasn’t planned any announcements regarding a free agent signing today. It’s not believed that Figgins will take a physical before the weekend.
The market for third basemen began to take shape earlier Thursday, when Placido Polanco signed a three-year, $18 million contract with the Phillies. Figgins is younger than Polanco and had a better 2009 season, so it’s likely that his deal will be worth more than $30 million.
The departure of Figgins for Seattle is bad news for the Angels. The Mariners are an improving division rival, and the Angels lack a proven internal replacement for Figgins — at third base or in the leadoff spot.
Figgins made his first All-Star team this year, batting .298 with five home runs and 54 RBIs for Los Angeles. He has developed into a good defensive third baseman and has been the Mariners’ top choice as a replacement to Adrian Beltre there.