Joe Stiglich of the Contra Costa Times mentions in this notebook that the A’s are interested in acquiring Chone Figgins from the A’s in the return for third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff and possibly a pitcher.
Despite the A’s busy offseason, indications are that they might not be done shaping the roster. A source with knowledge of the situation said the A’s are trying to trade for Seattle infielder Chone Figgins, and that current A’s third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff and perhaps a pitcher could be shipped to the Mariners in return.
And now, Buster Olney is reporting via Twitter that a third team could be involved in the talks – the Toronto Blue Jays.
Regardless who is involved, one thing that needs to be in consideration is Figgins’ contract. He’s owed $9 million this year, $9 million in 2012 and $8 million in 2013 and there is no way the A’s would pick up all that money.
Kouzmanoff, who was in the Indians organization when Eric Wedge was there, is a hard-nosed player, which Wedge likes . But in terms of patience at the plate – he’s not good to put it nicely. Kouzmanoff hit .247 with 16 homers and 71 RBI, but his on-base percentage was .274 … that is awful. He took 24 walks in 586 plate appearances.
The best part about Kouz, well besides the fact that his dad played football at the University of Montana, is his glove. By most fielding metrics, he’s one of the top defensive third baseman in baseball. Figgins is not a bad defensive third baseman. He was above average.
For me this comes down to money. If the Mariners can get the A’s/Blue Jays or whoever to eat a good portion of Figgins contract, then it could be a decent move. This contract is a minor albatross. Kouzmanoff is owed just $4.75 million this year and he has just three years of service time.
Would Kouzmanoff make the Mariners better? Not necessarily. Would he make them considerably worse? Not really. Figgins value to a team in terms of overall wins isn’t as high as you would think in comparison to Kouzmanoff. What this move could do would be to give them financial flexibility for the future.
Not inspired by this kind of trade talk? This is where the Mariners are at right now.