If M’s Sign Figgins, Who’s the Leadoff Hitter?

By now, most of you have heard that the Mariners are reportedly close to signing free-agent third baseman Chone Figgins to a long-term deal.

If that happens, it means two things:

1) Adrian Beltre is gone. He wants a long-term deal and the M’s aren’t willing to give him one, which is why Seattle offered arbitration.

2) Manager Don Wakamatsu will have an interesting decision to make when it comes to making out his lineup card. Who do you hit at the top of the order — Figgins or Ichiro?

Figgins hit .298 with a .395 on-base percentage for the Angels last season. He also stole 42 bases, hti five home runs and drove in 54 runs.

Ichiro has been Seattle’s leadoff hitter for the past nine seasons. He hit .352 with a .386 on-base percentage. Ichiro hit 11 home runs, stole 26 bases and drove in 46 runs.

I would imagine they would hit 1-2, although if you go by the old adage that your best hitter should bat No. 3, then Ichiro would be the man.

Figgins isn’t as good as Beltre on defense — I’m not sure there’s a better defensive third baseman in baseball — but he’s close. Figgins is cat-like and has much stronger arm than one would expect from a player his size.

The Los Angeles Times, by the way, is reporting that the Angels haven’t been told that Figgins won’t re-sign with them. The Angels offered a three-year, $24 million deal, while the M’s have reportedly offered a four-year, $36 million deal.

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