Mariners downplay Figgins trade rumors

SEATTLE — The Seattle Mariners and third baseman Chone Figgins tried to quiet trade rumors during the team's annual fanfest celebration Saturday.

Both Figgins and general manager Jack Zduriencik downplayed the possibility of a deal that would send the speedy, defensive standout to the Oakland Athletics. The Oakland Tribune, citing unnamed sources, first reported Friday the A's interest in acquiring Figgins.

"I've always said it's a great thing to be wanted but I want to win here," Figgins said. "I'll always love playing here and like I said before this is where I want to be. Until they force me out of here this is where I'm going to be."

Zduriencik said the team is going forward under the assumption that Figgins will be their opening-day starter at third base.

Figgins played second base for the Mariners last season after signing with Seattle as a free agent and struggled early, hitting just .235 at the All-Star break.

He responded with a strong second half by hitting .286 to lift his average to .260 for the season. Figgins is moving back to third base after the Mariners traded Jose Lopez to Colorado this winter.

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