So our first blog is the black hole that seems to be 3b…. well, that is one of the black holes that have plagued the Mariners for years. I admit, I applauded that signing of Chone Figgins on the day he was signed and even last year, I thought that his second half gave a little hope that he could be a productive 3b for us for the next couple of years. But, the numbers speak for themselves and so the search goes on…
This brings us to stop gaps to fill the hole of 3b until one of the young guys, Seager or Liddi comes of age and can make an impact the Show or the M’s make a blockbuster deal for an impact player… yeah, not much of an option. James brought up a great “outside the box” name yesterday in Rafael Furcal. I love the thought process of picking a player up to fill a position that honestly could be a hole for a couple of years based on the market for 3b but, I am not a big fan of this idea, and based on James argument, with 3 Cons and 2 Pros, I am not sure he would be sold on this idea if he could get past his stubborn ways.
First, there is the painful discussion of a veteran changing positions. While this does happen at the pro level, it is usually in the minor league system, when players are young and impressionable. Furcal is neither young nor impressionable. At the ripe ole age of 33, I fear the reliving of the Figgins experiment. Expecting players to make a change is dicey at the very least.
Second, playing a full season could be well past Furcal is seems to have picked up the injury bug that last couple of years. The Mariners are probably three players away from making a run in the playoffs and with the youth movement I would not be excited about an aging SS with a history of injuries filling my roster as my starting third baseman.
Finally, we have an albatross contract. As I understand it, the intent is to trade for Furcal, but with the team option for 2012 there is no guarantee he would re-sign and there are 12 millions reasons not to execise his option.
If in the off season Furcal comes cheap and the willingness to move positions, I would consider him as a stop gap at third, While I do like that he has speed and is a switch hitter, he is not your prototypical power third baseman and I would look at other options before I signed him.
Since timing is everything, I find it interesting that today Brandon Inge was designated for assignment… just kidding…