Seattle Mariners: 5 Salary Dump Trades Involving Chone Figgins
As the trade deadline approaches, and the potential suitors probably decreasing with every strikeout, the only choice might be a salary dump trade, or more appropriately named, a dump trade.
Something like a couple years ago when the Mariners traded Carlos Silva to the Cubs for Milton Bradley. We trade our trash for your trash in hopes of some type of turnaround. A "dump" trade.
Just for future comparison, Figgins is set to make $9 million this year and next, $9 milliong in 2012, $8 million in 2013 and has an $8 million option (that is guaranteed if he records 600 PA in 2013) in 2014.
Let's take a look at some under-performing players with bad contracts that can be swapped for Figgins.
Washington Nationals: Adam LaRoche
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This one wouldn't make a whole lot of sense for the Mariners, but they would get the "better" bad contract. LaRoche is making $7 million this year, $8 million next year and has a $1 million buyout in 2013.
That's a slightly smaller and shorter contract than Figgins', but LaRoche is also hitting just .172 and doesn't fill a need for the M's. He would essentially be there as a backup to Justin Smoak and Jack Cust, and as a power bat off the bench.
Figgins would fit in nicely with Washington, as a change of scenery would probably make him an upgrade over an aging Jerry Hairston.
Los Angeles Dodgers: Juan Uribe
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Juan Uribe is set to make $5 million this year, $7 million next year and $9 million in 2013.
His contract is a little smaller than Figgins', but he is struggling just like Chone. The numbers and dollars are close enough between the two, that a straight up "oh what the heck" deal is possible.
Struggling third baseman for struggling third baseman. Maybe a change of scenery helps one, or both, of them.
Atlanta Braves: Nate McLouth
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Nate McLouth has been a pretty big disappointment during his tenure with the Atlanta Braves. With Jordan Schafer waiting in the wings, it might be time for them to unload McLouth.
The 29-year-old is set to make $6.5 million this year and $11.65 million next year. The Mariners might have to thrown in a little bit of extra money, but McLouth could immediately step in as the starting left fielder.
The Braves, on the other hand, have an aging Chipper Jones at the hot corner. If he goes down to injury and they decide they don't want to use Eric Hinske full time, Figgins would be a nice piece to have.
Minnesota Twins: Joe Nathan
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Joe Nathan is nowhere near the same pitcher he was before he underwent Tommy John surgery in 2010, as he currently sports a 7.63 ERA and 1.70 WHIP.
The Twins are currently last in the AL Central, and starting the fire sale with their struggling reliever might not be a bad idea.
Nathan is set to make $11.5 million over this year and next, with a buyout option in 2013.
Both he and Figgins have pretty similar contracts—Nathan's is more expensive but potentially shorter—and both are struggling mightily.
Nathan might not be a bad risk to take to help a thin Seattle bullpen, and Figgins could spell a struggling Danny Valencia.
New York Mets: Jason Bay
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This is an interesting one.
If the Mets decide to have a fire sale this July, Bay could easily be one of the first to go. He has been a huge disappointment so far with the Mets, hitting just .259 with six home runs last year, and just .216 with 2 homers this year.
Age is suddenly creeping up on the 32-year-old, and he is set to make an insane $18 million each of the next three years. There are tons of question marks surrounding Bay, and New York might be best served to make some money off of him while they still can
In return, the Mets would take Chone Figgins and his considerably smaller contract, along with maybe a lower-tier prospect.
If the Mariners wanted to buy out Bay in 2014, they would essentially have to pay him $51 million to play from 2011 through 2013, as opposed to $26 million they would pay Figgins over the same period.
It's still a steep price for a big question mark, but it would give the Mariners a much needed third outfielder.
And even though the Mets would cut a lot off their huge payroll, it's far from a sure thing that they would do this deal, as they already have David Wright.
It's not a bad way to save a buck, however, as I'm sure no one is interested in Bay at the moment.