One of the best stories coming out of the Los Angeles Dodgers spring training was utility player Chone Figgins making the team after being out of baseball for a year.
Figgins signed a minor-league deal with the Dodgers in the off-season and won a roster spot out and travelled to Australia for the Opening Series. The former All-Star was optioned in April but returned to the team in May. He went down with a quad strain in June and never returned to the team.
The Dodgers announced via their official Twitter account that Figgins will become a free agent:
The Dodgers have asked for unconditional release waivers on infielder-outfielder Chone Figgins.
— Los Angeles Dodgers (@Dodgers) August 13, 2014
The 36-year-old participated in 38 games for the Dodgers and hit .217, but had a .373 on-base percentage. Once he went down with injury, the team’s need off the bench changed to a primary shortstop to replace Hanley Ramirez late in games and left Figgins without a role.
Figgins had become a mentor-type to Dee Gordon this year, even wearing an endorsement on the back of his jacket to get Gordon on the All-Star team. While his on-field production may not have been much, Figgins provided the team with veteran leadership and a bright personality that would keep things loose in the clubhouse.
It will be interesting to see if there is a market for Figgins, who has value in his versatility, speed and patience at the plate.
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