Elite Teams Raid Scrapheap, Hope To Turn Back Clock

The best team money can buy and the World Champs have each sent out their scouts, searching far and wide, for 2008. Rescue parties for both the Dodgers and Red Sox have found survivors, hoping that the clock can be turned back, and ancient, ailing former stars may actually have something left.

For a half-dozen years, one Desmond DeChone Figgins, commonly referred to as Chone, which by the way, is only the second weirdest spelling of Shawn in baseball annals, following the former Cubs shortstop Shawon Dunston, was a star with the Angels. From 2004 through 2009, Figgins was a consistent .290 hitter, a premier base stealer with a



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high of 62 in 2005, and a versatile defensive player, who could, and did, play almost anywhere on the infield or outfield. For example, during that 2005 season, he started between 36 and 65 games at each of four different positions.

He left for Seattle for the 2010 season with a four-year, $36 M dollar free agent deal, and then he fell off considerably, hitting only .259. But thereafter it got far worse for him and the Mariners, with him hitting only .188 and .181 over the next two years, and in 2013 at the age of 35 he was out of baseball.

Grady Sizemore was a highly touted prospect in the Cleveland organization, and the team could not wait for him to win a major league spot as the Indians regular center fielder. He did so in 2005, hitting 22 home runs and batting .289 in his first full season in the majors. Over the next three years, he developed into one of the game’s top center fielders, killing it in the field, stealing bases and hitting with power. In 2008 he hit 33 home runs and stole

38 bases, and made the top ten in MVP voting.

But, in 2009 he missed more than 50 games due to injuries, and in 2010 played in only 33 game. He was able to play almost half a season in 2011, but back and knee injuries and a couple of surgeries meant the end of the line for him. He did not play in 2012 or 2013.


Well, now the Dodgers, in need of infield depth behind their newest Cuban import, second baseman Alexander Guerrero, injury prone shortstop Hanley Ramirez, and 35-year-old third baseman Juan Uribe, not to mention having the need for a solid backup center fielder – the position I always thought was his best – have signed Figgins to a minor league deal with assurances that he will compete for a spot on the major league roster.


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The World Champ Red Sox lost their star center field Jacoby Ellsbury to free agency, and while they want to see Jackie Bradley, Jr. earn the regular job, lacking center field depth, they have now signed Sizemore to a $750,000 deal that could earn him $6 M if he is healthy and plays enough to reach various incentives. While he has missed so much time, he is still only 31, and after a couple of years off, he might have healed sufficiently to return to a fair semblance of his old form.

Figgins, on the other hand, appeared to have lost his hitting touch over a lengthy period, and at 36, it would be questionable that declining speed and defensive abilities could enable him to be an asset to the Dodgers.

The Dodgers’ signing of Figgins would seem to mark an end to any interest they had in bringing back Michael Young, and with that big hole at third base, it would not be a surprise to see him now end up with the yankees.

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