The Dodgers have agreed to terms with utility man Chone Figgins on a minor-league contract with a non-roster invitation to spring training, per Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports and Jerry Crasnick of ESPN. Figgins, who turned 36 Wednesday, is trying to make a comeback after a year off from baseball. The Dodgers announced the signing on Friday.
The 15 non-roster invitees confirmed by the Dodgers on Tuesday was the youngest group under general manager Ned Colletti's tenure, but even with the signing Figgins that makes only four NRIs age 30 or older in camp.
Figgins was 8-for-26 (.308/.308/.367) with eight singles, three walks, a stolen base and a sacrifice fly in spring training for the Marlins in 2013. He played in 11 Grapefruit League games before he was released on March 20.
Figgins held a private workout last week that was attended by several teams, including the Dodgers and Rays. After the workout, Figgins gave an impassioned speech described by Rosenthal:
"I wanted them to see the passion in my eyes," said Figgins. "I basically told them, ‘You can go back and tell your bosses that you saw it for yourself – you saw it on the field and you could see it in my eyes.'"
Heard Figgins told scouts at his last workout that he'd actually try this time. #notkidding— keithlaw (@keithlaw) January 23, 2014
The question remains: does Figgins have anything left in the tank? Even before sitting out 2013 after getting cut by the Marlins during spring training, Figgins hit a combined .185/.249/.253 in 507 plate appearances combined in 2011-2012.
From 2004-2010, Figgins hit .287/.361/.377 and averaged 44 steals and 67 walks per year in his seven full-time big league seasons.
If Figgins has anything left, he probably has the best shot of any of the non-roster invitees of making the opening day roster. The Dodgers need another backup infielder on the bench, and as I noted Monday preferably someone who can play third. That happens to be Figgins' best position defensively, but again it remains to be seen how effective he will be after a year off.
Dodgers position players report to camp at Camelback Ranch on February 13.