In search of a utility man this off-season, Ruben Amaro Jr and the Phillies have traded for Ty Wigginton, according to Jim Salisbury and others. Terms of the deal haven't been specified, but the Phillies will send either a player to be named later or cash to the Rockies for Wigginton's services. A look at Wigginton and where he fits in with the Phillies below.
Linked to the Phillies at trade deadlines and off-seasons past, Wigginton is owed $4 million in 2012, with either a $4 million option in 2013 or a $500,000 buyout. In other words, less money and fewer years than free agent Michael Cuddyer will likely command. He plays both first and third base, as well as both corner outfield spots, and can pitch in at second if need be. In 2011, Wigginton posted a .242 avg, .315 OBP, and .416 SLG, with a .731 OPS in 446 plate appearances.
He had 97 hits, 21 doubles, 15 homers, and 47 RBIs in 401 AB. He also posted 84 strikeouts. Over the past three seasons, his average hasn't varied much between righties and lefties (.248 vs LHP, .256 vs RHP), but his OBP is 30 points higher against lefties and his OPS is 30 points lower against the same guys. In 2011, he fared better against lefties across the board, particularly in OBP (.091 higher). Wigginton also got a boost from Coors Field, where his numbers were considerably better. Hopefully he'll enjoy a CBP effect as well.
Rotoworld aptly terms him a "poor man's Michael Cuddyer for a fraction of the price," and that might be just what the Phillies needed. They have more pieces to sign at shortstop and possibly with a Cole Hamels extension, so his salary isn't unmanageable. Wigginton can give them some flexibility at multiple positions, including first base, where Ryan Howard will open the season hurt, and third, where Placido Polanco is at a stage in his career that DL time needs to be accounted for as increasingly likely. Doesn't hurt that he can stay fresh in the outfield and be a valuable righthanded pinch-hitter to complement the lefty Jim Thome either.
Matt Gelb of the Inquirer says the Phillies will only pay half of Wigginton's 2012 $4 million salary (which other outlets have at $3.5 million fwiw), and that the move doesn't preclude the Amaro from re-signing Jimmy Rollins and another bat (presumably a LH OF).
What are your thoughts on Wigginton?