Ty Wigginton Rumors
The Cardinals announced they have released infielder Ty Wigginton, tweets Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports and others. The team also promoted catcher Rob Johnson. Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported earlier today that the Cards were considering a roster move involving Wigginton and their bench.
Wigginton, 35, signed a two-year, $5MM deal with the Cardinals in December. He hit .158/.238/.193 in 63 plate appearances, however, and playing time was scarce with better options on the roster such as Matt Adams. The Cardinals are on the hook for the $3.6MM or so remaining on Wigginton's contract, less the pro-rated portion of the league minimum if he finds his way back to the Majors.
The Cardinals are "considering a roster move before tonight’s game against Houston that could bring clarity to veteran Ty Wigginton’s role with the club and reshape the club’s bench," sources tell Derrick Goold of the St. Louis Post-Dispatch. A minor league assignment for Wigginton is among a handful of options the club is exploring, writes Goold.
Wigginton, 35, signed a two-year, $5MM deal with the Cardinals in December. He's hitting .158/.238/.193 in 63 plate appearances, however, and playing time has been scarce. The Cardinals' bench consists of backup catcher Tony Cruz, plus Matt Adams, Daniel Descalso, Shane Robinson, and Wigginton.
The Cardinals have agreed to sign utility player Ty Wigginton to a two-year deal in the $5MM range, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (Twitter links). Wigginton, an ACES client with 11 years of MLB experience, will provide the Cardinals with a versatile right-handed bat.
Wigginton will earn $2.5MM per season in 2013 and 2014, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports (on Twitter).The agreement is pending a physical.
Wigginton spent the 2012 season with the Phillies, posting a .235/.314/.375 batting line with 11 home runs and 11 doubles in 360 plate appearances. The 35-year-old played first base, third base and left field for the Phillies, who acquired him from Colorado in a trade following the 2011 season. He had signed a two-year, $8MM contract with the Rockies covering the 2010-11 seasons. The Phillies declined a $4MM club option on Wigginton in October, preferring a $500K buyout.
Like Skip Schumaker, who was recently traded by St. Louis to Los Angeles, Wigginton has considerable experience in the infield and in the outfield. Unlike Schumaker, he's a right-handed hitter who has a history of success against left-handed pitching. Wigginton has a career .270/.354/.456 line against southpaws, including a .234/.360/.411 line against them this past season.
Contreras, 40, spent most of the 2012 season on the disabled list. He didn't pitch after June 2nd, when the Phillies placed him on the DL with a torn elbow ligament. His option was worth $2.5MM.
Wigginton appeared in 125 games this past season, playing first base, third base and left field. The 35-year-old posted a .235/.314/.375 batting line with 11 home runs in 360 plate appearances. Wigginton's two-year, $8MM contract with the Phillies included a $4MM team option for 2013.
Links from the AL East, which remains the only division without a sub-.500 team...
- The Rays are 'cooler' on the idea of trading James Shields, Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports (onTwitter). It's difficult for Tampa Bay to act as a buyer because the positions at which they might seek upgrades, shortstop and catcher, are positions of scarcity in MLB.
- Ty Wigginton isn't at the top of the Yankees' list of potentially useful third basemen, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter). The Yankees are looking for someone who can provide defense at the hot corner.
- The Yankees haven't contacted the Rockies about Rafael Betancourt, and it's doubtful the Rockies will trade him at all, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports (on Twitter). The Orioles, Athletics, Rangers,Braves, Red Sox and Blue Jays have all been linked to Betancourt.
- Yankees GM Brian Cashman said the Yankees can't take on a substantial contract, so Bryan Hoch of MLB.com says Yankees fans shouldn't expect to see Cliff Lee in navy pinstripes anytime soon (Twitter links). Cashman said it's possible but unlikely that the Yankees will make a trade before tomorrow's deadline, Hoch writes. "I highly doubt it," the GM said.
- The Blue Jays are unlikely to complete a trade for Marlins right-hander Josh Johnson, Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports reports (on Twitter). The Marlins expect to keep Johnson instead of trading him.
- Here are the latest Red Sox-related rumors.
The Phillies acquired Hunter Pence from the Astros for prospects Jarred Cosart, Jonathan Singleton and Josh Zeid and a player to be named later on this date last year. Here are the latest links as we look forward to yet another busy trade deadline...
- The Twins are listening to offers for Denard Span, but won’t move him unless they get a Major League starter in return, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports (on Twitter).
- White Sox GM Kenny Williams says the White Sox are still looking to add, Nightengale reports (on Twitter). The White Sox, who traded forFrancisco Liriano last night, would look to acquire a position player this time, Nightengale writes.
- Alfonso Soriano, Cliff Lee and Ervin Santana are among the players who could clear waivers and be traded in August, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports.
- Willie Bloomquist, Brendan Ryan and Ty Wigginton are thought to be on the Yankees' long list of potential infield options, Heyman reports. Yunel Escobar, Chone Figgins, Jose Lopez and Cody Ransom are also thought to be on New York's list.
- One team that’s spoken with the Mariners reports that "they want everybody," Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com tweets.
The results of Josh Johnson’s start against the Padres and Roy Halladay’s start against the Braves could have major consequences for the trade market, ESPN.com’s Jayson Stark writes. More than a dozen scouts are on hand to watch Johnson pitch in Miami today, while Halladay is attempting to prevent the Braves from sweeping the Phillies out of town and, possibly, out of the playoff mix. Here are the details from Stark:
- MLB executives are wary of Johnson’s past shoulder troubles, his career-high ERA and his diminishing fastball velocity, but no other available starter has his kind of stuff. The Marlins continue to look for a “dream package” for Johnson and they’re prepared to keep him if no club meets their asking price, Stark reports.
- The Rangers seem especially cautious about Johnson, but they have people watching his start today. The Marlins told the Rangers they aren’t interested in discussing a trade unless Mike Olt is involved, yet the Rangers haven’t been willing to make Olt available.
- As of last night, the Phillies were telling clubs they haven’t decided how they’ll approach the deadline. They’ve likely done enough talking to trade Shane Victorino, Joe Blanton, Juan Pierre and Ty Wigginton in short order if necessary, Stark writes.
- The Phillies continue dangling Hunter Pence, but seem intent on waiting until the offseason to start serious trade discussions.
- Philadelphia could keep its trade chips for now and make moves in August, when players have to be placed on waivers to be dealt.
The Phillies signed Cole Hamels to a historic six-year, $144MM extension this morning. After weeks of rumors, it’s now apparent that Hamels will stay put, but his teammates don’t all enjoy the same security. Here’s the latest on the Phillies...
- The Yankees considered pursuing Ty Wigginton, but the Phillies aren't offering him up, Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com reports (on Twitter).
- An American League executive suggested the Phillies' deal with Hamels means Cliff Lee and Hunter Pence are available, Joel Sherman of the New York Post reports (on Twitter).
- The Phillies have reached out to "dangle" Jimmy Rollins to other teams in the last two weeks, ESPN.com's Buster Olney reports (on Twitter). The A's have considered Rollins, but he's not currently an option for them.
- Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. is waiting to determine whether to buy or sell at the trade deadline, Bob Nightengale of USA Today reports (Twitter link).
- Jon Heyman of CBSSports.com isn't convinced the Phillies will go into complete sell mode (Twitter link).
The teams will split Wigginton's $4MM 2012 salary, according to Troy Renck of the Denver Post, and the Rox can recoup another player or $100K in cash if the Phils exercise Wigginton's $4MM 2013 option. If the Philly declines Wigginton's 2013 option, the Rockies will pay a portion of the $500K buyout, Renck adds. The player to be named or cash will switch hands within six months, tweets Jim Salisbury of CSNPhilly.com.
Wigginton, who turned 34 last month, owns a .265/.325/.443 career line in 10 seasons with the Mets, Pirates, Rays, Astros, Orioles and Rockies, though he's been better against lefties (.274/.353/.461) than righties (.261/.313/.437) by a healthy margin. Wigginton has primarily played third base but has seen action at first base and even logged time at second and in left field.
The Phils had reportedly been pursuing free agent utility man Michael Cuddyer, so it's fair to infer that the acquisition of Wigginton means they're out of the Cuddyer bidding. Cuddyer and Wigginton are roughly comparable players in terms of their positional profiles and age, although Cuddyer, 33 in March, has posted a better offensive line in his career: .272/.343./.451. Wigginton, though, should prove a significantly cheaper addition.
Phillies GM Ruben Amaro Jr. said he regards Wigginton primarily as a corner infielder and occasional outfielder, according to Matt Gelb of the Philadelphia Inquirer (Twitter), who adds that Wiggy will be insurance for Placido Polanco and Ryan Howard. The latter suffered a ruptured Achilles tendon in the Phils' postseason-ending loss to the Cards in the NLCS, so there's some concern over whether he'll be ready on Opening Day.
Wigginton's departure from Colorado should open the door for catcher/first baseman/third baseman Jordan Pacheco, who played well during a late-season cup of coffee in 2011, to fill a similar role in 2012, tweets Renck.
The Rockies pick tenth in next year's draft, a pick that will be protected if they sign a Type A free agent who turned down arbitration this offseason. The latest on the team, from Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post:
- Kevin Kouzmanoff is unlikely to return to the Rockies next year. MLBTR reported yesterday that the team is in the process of outrighting the third baseman. Ian Stewart will get another shot at the third base job if he "makes baseball his first priority from the start of the winter until the end of it," GM Dan O'Dowd told Renck. The Rockies will need to make a decision on Stewart by the December 12th non-tender deadline though. Tendering him a contract probably means paying him around $2.2MM again.
- Opposing executives expect O'Dowd to aggressively pursue Mets third baseman David Wright. Otherwise Renck expects the Rockies to cast a wide net, including the Padres' Chase Headley and the Pirates' Pedro Alvarez but not free agent Aramis Ramirez. I have a hard time imagining the Padres sending Headley to their division rival; the two teams haven't matched up for an offseason trade since the Rockies' inaugural season.
- The Rockies are looking to trade Ty Wigginton even it means eating some of the $4.5MM owed to him.
- Renck reiterates that the Rockies seek an innings eater this offseason.