Wigginton Signing Provides InsuranceBREAKING NEWS, Infielders, News, Outfielders, Phillies Monday, November 21st, 2011
By no means is Ty Wigginton a major upgrade, let alone an effective signing. But the addition of Wigginton means the Phillies have more depth, a reliable veteran to platoon with fellow free-agent signing Jim Thome at first base, and a potentially dependable bench bat.
In his career, Wigginton has patrolled every infield position and both corner outfield positions. Because of this, he has proven to be one of the league’s better utility men. His primary position, though, is third base, which makes him a great fit in Philadelphia. With Placido Polanco aging and the question of how many good years he has left surrounding him, Wiggington can come in and spell Polanco. And as mentioned before, Wigginton can also help out Thome over at first base while Ryan Howard recovers from surgery.
Seeing that his two primary positions are first base (258 games played) and third base (656 games played), it’s pretty clear why the Phillies added him.
With Colorado last season, Wigginton experienced his worst batting season. With a career-low average of .242 and just a .143 average with runners in scoring position last season, it shouldn’t be expected that Wigginton will provide the Phillies with a big bat. However, he has demonstrated the ability to be a key pinch-hitter. In nine seasons, Wigginton has compiled a .275 average as a pinch-hitter and a .291 average as a designated hitter, which could come to use when the Phillies get set for interleague play.
Fans won’t be as thrilled about the signing as they usually are, but the move could wind up being one of those subtle moves that pays major dividends throughout the course of the season. I’m not trying to dig too deep into such a small sample size, but in eight at-bats at Citizens Bank Park, Wigginton has amassed four hits and a .556 on-base percentage.
Even more attractive about the signing of Wigginton is the cheap price he came for. The Phillies dealt the Rockies a marginal prospect to be named later and will split his remaining one-year deal with his previous team. This means that the Phillies pretty much picked up Wigginton for a one-year, $2 million deal because Colorado will be paying him another $2 million to fulfill his $4 million contract.
With more deals expected for the Phillies – possibly Michael Cuddyer and Jimmy Rollins – the signing of Wigginton is a great, cost-efficient move that winning teams must execute in order to succe
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