INDIANAPOLIS, Indiana --—Seattle Mariners Executive Vice President & General Manager of Baseball Operations Jack Zduriencik today announced from the Major League Baseball Winter Meetings that the club has signed infielder Chone Figgins (pronounced: shawn FIG-ins) to a four-year contract (2010-2013) with an option for a potential fifth (2014) season. Per club policy, terms of the contract were not disclosed.
"We see Chone as a great fit for our ball club and the city of Seattle," said Zduriencik. "We anticipate an exciting time watching Ichiro and Chone batting at the top of our lineup. He is an athletic player with speed and versatility. He also brings tremendous character and positive energy to our organization."
Figgins, 31, made his first All-Star team last season and ranked T10th in the American League MVP voting. He batted .291 (183x615) with 114 runs, 30 doubles, 7 triples, 5 home runs and 54 RBI. He was also among the American League leaders in walks (1st/101), runs (2nd/114), stolen bases (T3rd/42), multi-hit games (T3rd/20), on-base percentage (7th/.395) and batting average with runners in scoring position (8th/.333).
Figgins played four different positions in 2009 with the Angles, appearing in 154 games (154 starts) at third base. He also played second base (2 G / 2 GS), shortstop (2 G) and left field (1 G).
Figgins was originally drafted by the Colorado Rockies in the fourth round of the 1997 June Draft and was traded to the Los Angeles Angels on July 13, 2001. He had played his entire eight-year Major League career with the Angles, making his debut on Aug. 25, 2002 at Boston as a pinch-runner.
Figgins owns a .291 (1045x3585) career batting average with 596 runs scored, 148 doubles, 53 triples, 31 home runs and 341 RBI in 936 career games. He has recorded 280 stolen bases, ranking fifth in the Majors since 2002. Figgins is one of only four current Major League players to reach the 40 stolen base plateau in four of the last five season and the only active player to reach 30 stolen bases in each of his last six seasons.
The 5-foot-8, 180-pound switch hitter was born on Jan. 22, 1978 and resides in Seffner, Florida. He attended Brandon (FL) High School and was named third-team High School All-American as a senior in 1997 and first team All-Conference as both a junior and senior. He was honored with the 2005 Cool Papa Bell Award by the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum for leading the Majors in stolen bases.
With this free agent acquisition, the Mariners 40-man roster is currently at 38 players.