Insiders think Chone Figgins will command upwards of five-years, $50 million in free agency. Some believe he’s best suited to remain with the Angels, but one could argue that the Phillies need him most.
Today, David Murphy continued his free agent primer with a look at third base, noting that among Major League third basemen, Pedro Feliz ranked 18th in on-base percentage (.308) and 18th in OPS (.694). He also noted, as others have, too, that the Phils’ 7-hole production placed them 19th in the league in OPS. Meanwhile, here’s Jimmy Rollins’ line from 640 lead-off plate appearances: .242/.292/.413. That ranks 21 out of 22 qualified Major League leadoff men in OPS (.704). His .292 on-base, as you might expect, was the absolute worst by a long shot.
There’s no other way to view Figgins and his .298/.395/.393 than the best possible free agent upgrade the Phillies could make, one who would kill a whole flock of birds with one stone . The problem: many teams, including the Angels, feel the same way.
We’ve read about the Phillies’ budget restrictions, but one can’t help but wonder if other forces are in play. From Jayson Stark, a week ago: “What happens if they (the Phillies) try to install Figgins in the leadoff hole? That has the potential to create a gigantic problem because they’d have to sell it to their current leadoff man, some guy named Jimmy Rollins. And that won’t be easy. So to me Adrian Beltre, Mark DeRosa and Placido Polanco are much better fits for them, depending on the asking price.”