Adrian Beltre suffered through an injury-plagued campaign with the Mariners in 2009 -- including a shoulder injury and a severely bruised testicle -- and hit .265 with eight home runs in 111 games. The Mariners made a halfhearted attempt to re-sign Beltre by offering him arbitration, but instead signed Chone Figgins to a four-year, $36 million deal.
It proved, of course, to be a disastrous decision. Beltre sought a multiyear deal but ended up going to Boston for one season before signing a five-year deal with the Rangers. Not to pound home the obvious, but look at their production over the past three seasons:
Figgins: .227/.302/.283, four home runs, $28 million in salary
Beltre: .314/.353/.558, 96 home runs, two top-10 MVP finishes, $38 million in salary
OK, so Beltre doesn't put up those numbers in Safeco Field. Still ... those are the decisions that cost people jobs. The Mariners mercifully designated Figgins for assignment, eating the final $8 million of his contract. He will end his tenure as perhaps the least popular Mariners player ever. Am I wrong, Mariners fans? It will be a happy Thanksgiving in Seattle.
GM Jack Zduriencik, who signed Figgins but has kept his job, said, "At the time of the signing it looked like it was going to be the right thing for all of us. He was excited about coming here. ... It just never worked out like he thought and sometimes you just never know why."
Figgins had posted a .386 OBP with the Angels from 2007 to 2009, but was entering his age-32 season. It wasn't a bad signing at the time, but Figgins just fell off the table.
A few other notable names designated for assignment, outrighted to the minors or released as teams added players to their 40-man rosters on Tuesday night:
Matt LaPorta, 1B, Indians: The centerpiece of the CC Sabathia trade with the Brewers, LaPorta hit .238/.301/.393 in over 1,000 PAs with Cleveland. Only Michael Brantley has provided any value to the Indians from that deal.
Vin Mazzaro, P, Royals: Remember that 14-run relief appearance in 2011?
Jim Miller, P, A's: Posted a 2.59 ERA in 48.2 innings with the A's. I'd guess some team will sign him and put him on a 40-man roster.
Ryan Raburn, IF-OF, Tigers: He was a terrific platoon player in 2009 and 2010, but collapsed in 2012, hitting .171. He's probably headed to spring training as a non-roster invitee somewhere.