Brandon League's stock may never be as high as it is right now. Chone Figgins' may never be this low.
League has done an excellent job filling in for the injured David Aardsma as the M's closer this season, earning his first All-Star berth and holding his own among the league leaders in saves.
Figgins, on the other hand, has arguably been the biggest disappointment in the entire MLB this season. Despite being in the midst of a four-year/$36 million contract, Figgy is batting around .180 with one home run while playing sub-par defense at third base.
For some reason, Cincinnati has expressed interest in Figgins. Perhaps they think they can help him find his old form as the role of a pesky lead-off hitter that he filled perfectly for several years in Los Angeles. The Reds have also expressed interest in League. They want depth in their bullpen as they try to keep pace in the NL Central race.
Catcher Yasmani Grandal is one of the top 10 prospects the Reds have. He shows the potential to be above average both offensively and defensively, but is blocked by phenom catching prospect Devin Mesoraco, who has been described by some as the best catching prospect since Joe Mauer. Seattle is thin at catcher with Miguel Olivo getting older and Adam Moore looking more and more like an injury-prone bust.
At age 24, Juan Francisco is currently getting his first taste of the big leagues. Also widely regarded as one of the Reds' top 10 prospects, Francisco is a power hitting third baseman/DH, which is exactly what the Mariners are currently lacking. He could fit in very well on the hot corner and establish himself as a mainstay for years in Seattle, should the Reds wish to shop him in a trade.
Seattle would probably have to pay most, if not all, of Figgins' salary to help this deal work out, but I like it for both teams. The Mariners need to bite the bullet on Figgins—the experiment has failed. His days in Seattle appear to be numbered, as he has been given more than enough chances and hasn't cashed in.
League provides strength in the 'pen for the Reds, and Figgins is given a much-needed fresh start and a chance to revitalize his career in the National League. The Mariners, in return, are given two potential building blocks towards their future, and it doesn't cost the Reds any of their consensus top five prospects.