Figgins Would Like to Stay in Seattle

Seattle MarinersOakland AthleticsJose LopezJack ZduriencikChone Figgins

The Seattle Mariners and third baseman Chone
Figgins tried to quiet trade rumors during the team's annual
fanfest celebration Saturday.
      Both Figgins and general manager Jack Zduriencik downplayed the
possibility of a deal that would send the speedy, defensive
standout to the Oakland Athletics. The Oakland Tribune , citing
unnamed sources, first reported Friday the A's interest in
acquiring Figgins.
      "I've always said it's a great thing to be wanted but I want to
win here," Figgins said. "I'll always love playing here and like
I said before this is where I want to be. Until they force me out
of here this is where I'm going to be."
      Zduriencik said the team is going forward under the assumption
that Figgins will be their opening-day starter at third base. The
two had a conversation where Zduriencik explained the situation to
Figgins, trying to ease any concerns he may have had.
      "You have general managers talk, agents talk about players -
I'm not referring to this particular situation, but the next thing
you know, someone is putting two and two together and coming up
with five," Zduriencik said.
      "That's where this whole thing is at," he added. "What it
means, our plan when we open the season, Chone is going to be our
third baseman."
      Figgins played second base for the Mariners last season after
signing with Seattle as a free agent and struggled early, hitting
just .235 at the All-Star break.
      He responded with a strong second half by hitting .286 to lift
his average to .260 for the season. Figgins is moving back to third
base after the Mariners traded Jose Lopez to Colorado this winter.
      "I think I was trying to do a little more than I was expected
to do. I really wasn't attacking the game," Figgins said of his
struggles. "Once the second half hit, I said, 'You know what, I'm
going to attack the game.' The results end up being probably one of
the best seasons I ever had, personally, because of the struggles I
went through earlier."
      Figgins has a limited no-trade clause that is thought to include
the A's as one of his blocked destinations. When asked if he would
consider waiving the clause if approached, Figgins responded,
"Like I said, I want to be here."
      
      (Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.)

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