Wig Wit: Phillies Trade for Ty Wigginton

Wig Wit: Phillies Trade for Ty Wigginton

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?

Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, Ivan Rodriguez elected to baseball's Hall of Fame

Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines, Ivan Rodriguez elected to baseball's Hall of Fame

NEW YORK -- Jeff Bagwell, Tim Raines and Ivan Rodriguez were elected to baseball's Hall of Fame on Wednesday, earning the honor as Trevor Hoffman and Vladimir Guerrero fell just short.

Steroids-tainted stars Barry Bonds and Roger Clemens were passed over for the fifth straight year by the Baseball Writers' Association of America. But they received a majority of votes for the first time and could be in position to gain election in coming years.

Bagwell , on the ballot for the seventh time after falling 15 votes short last year, received 381 of 442 votes for 86.2 percent. Players needed 75 percent, which came to 332 votes this year.

"Anxiety was very, very high," Bagwell said. "I wrote it on a ball tonight. It was kind of cool."

In his 10th and final year of eligibility, Raines was on 380 ballots (86 percent). Rodriguez received 336 votes (76 percent) to join Johnny Bench in 1989 as the only catchers elected on the first ballot.

Hoffman was five votes shy and Guerrero 15 short.

Edgar Martinez was next at 58.6 percent, followed by Clemens at 54.1 percent, Bonds at 53.8 percent, Mike Mussina at 51.8 percent, Curt Schilling at 45 percent, Lee Smith at 34.2 percent and Manny Ramirez at 23.8 percent.

Players will be inducted July 30 during ceremonies at Cooperstown along with former Commissioner Bud Selig and retired Kansas City and Atlanta executive John Schuerholz, both elected last month by a veterans committee.

Bagwell was a four-time All-Star who spent his entire career with Houston, finishing with a .297 batting average, 401 homers and 1,401 RBIs.

Raines, fifth in career stolen bases, was a seven-time All-Star and the 1986 NL batting champion. He spent 13 of 23 big league seasons with the Montreal Expos, who left Canada to become the Washington Nationals for the 2005 season, and joins Andre Dawson and Gary Carter as the only players to enter the Hall representing the Expos.

Raines hit .294 with a .385 on-base percentage, playing during a time when Rickey Henderson was the sport's dominant speedster.

Rodriguez, a 14-time All-Star who hit .296 with 311 homers and 1,332 RBIs, was never disciplined for PEDs but former Texas teammate Jose Canseco alleged in a 2005 book that he injected the catcher with steroids. Asked whether he was on the list of players who allegedly tested positive for steroids during baseball's 2003 survey, Rodriguez said in 2009: "Only God knows."

Bonds, a seven-time MVP who holds the season and career home run records, received 36.2 percent in his initial appearance, in 2013, and jumped from 44.3 percent last year. Clemens, a seven-time Cy Young Award winner, rose from 45.2 percent last year.

Bonds was indicted on charges he lied to a grand jury in 2003 when he denied using PEDs, but a jury failed to reach a verdict on three counts he made false statements and convicted him on one obstruction of justice count, finding he gave an evasive answer. The conviction was overturned appeal in 2015.

Clemens was acquitted on one count of obstruction of Congress, three counts of making false statements to Congress and two counts of perjury, all stemming from his denials of drug use.

A 12-time All-Star on the ballot for the first time, Ramirez was twice suspended for violating baseball's drug agreement. He helped the Boston Red Sox win World Series titles in 2004 and `07, the first for the franchise since 1918, and hit .312 with 555 home runs and 1,831 RBIs in 19 big league seasons.

Several notable players will join them in the competition for votes in upcoming years: Chipper Jones and Jim Thome in 2018, Mariano Rivera and Roy Halladay in 2019, and Derek Jeter in 2020.

Lee Smith, who had 478 saves, got 34 percent in his final time on the ballot. Jorge Posada, Tim Wakefield and Magglio Ordonez were among the players who got under 5 percent and fell off future ballots.

Brown: 'No chance' Ben Simmons plays vs. Rockets next week

Brown: 'No chance' Ben Simmons plays vs. Rockets next week

Brett Brown squashed any chatter of Ben Simmons playing in the Sixers’ Jan. 27 nationally televised game against the Rockets.

“There is no chance,” Brown said Wednesday before the Sixers took on the Raptors.

On Tuesday the NBA announced the Sixers' matchup with the Rockets was added to the ESPN lineup while the Heat at Bulls game was dropped. 

That night, Simmons posted two photos on Instagram: a picture of him in Sixers warmup gear at the Wells Fargo Center with the staring eyes emoji and later a post of himself working out at the training complex. 

“I am a social media hermit. I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Brown said. “But I do know that there is no chance that he will play then.”

Simmons has been sidelined the entire season since suffering a Jones fracture in his right foot during training camp. The team has reiterated there is no timetable for his return.