With the Los Angeles Dodgers needing to replace utility players Jerry Hairston Jr., Nick Punto, Skip Schumaker and Michael Young from their 2013 roster, they signed Chone Figgins to a Minor-League deal that included an invitation to Spring Training.
Figgins was released by the Miami Marlins in March of last year and sat out the entirety of the 2013 season. He was named to the All-Star team in 2009 and turned that into a four-year, $36 million contract with the Seattle Mariners, who designated him for assignment, which led to Figgins briefly joining the Marlins.
Despite hitting just .171 in Spring Training, Figgins made the travel roster for Australia — likely a result of him leading the team with nine walks and ability to play multiple positions. Figgins remained on the Major-League roster when the Dodgers returned stateside and spent late-April in the Minors.
The 36-year-old returned in May and was a mainstay on the bench before landing on the disabled list in June with a hip flexor that was initially diagnosed as a quad strain. After completing his rehab assignment with Triple-A Albuquerque, the Dodgers either needed to add him to the 25-man roster or designate him for assignment and they opted for the latter.
One week after that decision was made, the Dodgers released the veteran utility player. Figgins appeared in 38 games this season (.217 batting average in 60 at-bats) and routinely showed a knack for reaching base via a walk. Arguably, Figgins’ greatest impact on the team was his mentoring of Dee Gordon.
The Dodgers hosted the Detroit Tigers for a two-game set in early April in what some pegged as a potential World Series preview. The Dodgers took a 1-0 lead in the first inning but the Tigers quickly tied it in the second.
Kenley Jansen blew the save opportunity in the ninth and the teams played into extra innings. Figgins pinch-hit for J.P. Howell in the 10th and drew a leadoff walk and he then scored the winning run on Carl Crawford’s double into left field.
It’s conceivable, though not likely Figgins could sign a similar contract as he did with the Dodgers in 2014 and once again play his way onto a Major-League roster.