A's Play Down Figgins Rumors

The Seattle Mariners and third baseman Chone Figgins tried to quiet trade rumours 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. The two had a conversation where Zduriencik explained the situation to Figgins, trying to ease any concerns he may have had.

"You have general managers talk, agents talk about players — I'm not referring to this particular situation, but the next thing you know, someone is putting two and two together and coming up with five," Zduriencik said.

"That's where this whole thing is at," he added. "What it means, our plan when we open the season, Chone is going to be our third baseman."

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.

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