Ty Wigginton Rumors


Rockies Sign Ty Wigginton

The Rockies continued their active offseason today, officially announcing their contract with Ty Wigginton. Wigginton received a two-year, $8MM deal with an option for 2013, which is steep compared to Eric Hinske's one-year, $1.35MM deal.  The Wigginton contract represents another big win for ACES, the agency behind the deals for Joaquin Benoit, John Buck, Jhonny Peralta, Brandon Inge, and Javier Vazquez.

Wigginton, 33, hit .248/.312/.415 with 22 home runs in 649 plate appearances for the Orioles in 2010. The veteran utility man saw time at first base, second base, and third base for the Orioles, and also has experience in the oufield. He'd been previously identified as the Rockies' top target for a right-handed utility bat.

The Orioles made a curious decision this summer in not trading Wigginton, as he was certain to finish the year as an unranked free agent. Rather than acquire some minor league depth or salary relief, they will instead receive no compensation for his departure.

Wigginton is added to the list of offseason activity from the Rockies that has included extending Troy Tulowitzki, signing Jorge de la Rosa, and acquiring Jose Lopez and Felipe PaulinoDave Cameron of FanGraphs is confused as to why the Rockies added Wigginton after getting Lopez.

Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports first broke the news that the two sides were close on a deal, while his colleague Tracy Ringolsby added details.



Rockies Interested In Cantu, Harden, Bullpen Help

We've heard that Ty Wigginton is the Rockies' top target for a right-handed bat, but the club has other targets for that role, as well as interest in several other players, according to Troy E. Renck of the Denver Post. Let's go over some of them:

  • Jorge Cantu is one alternative to Wigginton, despite a miserable second half to the 2010 season. GM Dan O'Dowd acknowledged that they'd prefer someone who can play in the outfield, but that's not critical.
  • The Rockies have soured on Josh Willingham due to Washington's asking price and concerns over the 31-year-old's knee. They've also called about Jeff Francoeur, believing he could handle first base.
  • Colorado would have interest in Rich Harden in a bullpen role, if the righty would be willing to make the switch from starting pitching. There's also the question of whether or not the injury-prone Harden could hold up physically. Renck says the Rox have tried to acquire Harden numerous times in the past, but to no avail.
  • Colorado is also looking at Kevin Gregg, Bobby Jenks, Brian Fuentes, Jesse Crain, and Pedro Feliciano, though the first three prefer to close, which won't happen in Denver.
  • The Rockies also haven't closed the door on Joe Beimel, who tells Renck he'd love to come back to Colorado.



Blue Jays, O's Interested In Pena, Wigginton

5:30pm: The Blue Jays have checked in on Ty Wigginton, according to Jon Paul Morosi of FOX Sports (on Twitter). The Orioles maintain interest in the infielder, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun.

4:24pm: The Orioles still have interest in Pena, though his asking price is currently too high, according to MLB.com's Brittany Ghiroli (on Twitter).

2:02pm: The Blue Jays are "in hard" for free agent first baseman Carlos Pena, ESPN's Gordon Edes heard from another club with interest (Twitter link).  The Cubs and Nationals are also known to be eyeing the Scott Boras client.  Like recently-traded slugger Mark Reynolds, Pena slipped below the Mendoza line this year but isn't far removed from 40 home run power.



Josh Willingham Likely To Be Moved

4:38pm: The Orioles have had internal discussions about Willingham, potentially as a first baseman, according to Dan Connolly of the Baltimore Sun. The O's haven't ruled out bringing Ty Wigginton back.

1:56am: The Nationals added one huge piece to their outfield today, but could subtract another key contributor before Opening Day. MLB.com's Bill Ladson hears that Josh Willingham will "most likely" be traded by the Nationals sometime this offseason. The 31-year-old isn't the only National on the trade block either; earlier today, we heard that the club would listen to offers for everyone on its roster besides Werth and Ryan Zimmerman.

There would be room in the Nationals' outfield for both Willingham, a left fielder, and Werth, who is expected to play right. However, Ladson writes that Washington would like to get something back for Willingham rather than letting him leave via free agency after the 2011 season.

Last month, it appeared Willingham and the Nationals would be unable to work out an extension to keep the outfielder in Washington. GM Mike Rizzo indicated that the team would go year to year on Willingham, with Adam Kilgore of the Washington Post suggesting that a trade was also a possibility.

According to Ladson, the Nats are also eyeing first base options, and Carlos Pena remains their top choice. If they can't lock up Pena, the team might like Adam LaRoche as an alternative.



Odds & Ends: Nishioka, Uggla, Soriano, Wigginton

The typical Winter Meetings barrage of links...



Rockies Close To Deal With Wigginton

8:07am: Wigginton's deal is for two years and $7.5MM, tweets Tracy Ringolsby of FOX Sports, including a $500K buyout on a 2013 option.  Ringolsby suggests an agreement has been reached.

6:11am: Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports tweets that the Rockies are close on a deal with free agent Ty Wigginton, who will serve as a right-handed bat off the bench.

Wigginton, 33, hit .248/.312/.415 in 649 plate appearances for the Orioles in 2010. The veteran utility man saw time at first base, second base, and third base for the Orioles, and also has experience in the oufield. He'd been previously identified as the Rockies' top target for a right-handed utility bat.

The Orioles made a curious decision this summer in not trading Wigginton, as he was certain to finish the year as an unranked free agent. Rather than acquire some minor league depth or salary relief, they will instead receive no compensation for his departure.



Rockies Interested In Martin, Francoeur, Wigginton

The Rockies are looking for versatile right-handed hitters and have been in contact with the agents of Russell Martin, Jeff Francoeur and Ty Wigginton, reports FOXSports.com's Tracy Ringolsby.  Martin is already drawing significant interest since being non-tendered by the Dodgers yesterday, though only Colorado could re-unite him with manager Jim Tracy.  With the Rockies set on Chris Iannetta as their regular catcher, Martin might want to sign for a team that gives him a clearer path to a starting job behind the plate.  If he isn't set on catching, however, Martin would find plenty of at-bats in Colorado spelling Ian Stewart and Todd Helton at third and first, respectively, against left-handed pitching.

The Phillies and Royals have also shown some interest in Francoeur, but Ringolsby notes that the Rockies would have Francoeur play some first base as Helton's backup.  Francoeur has played only in the outfield in his career and is the least-versatile option of the three players.  If he were to struggle playing first, the Rockies could find themselves still in the market for a reliable backup corner infielder once the season began.

Wigginton has been linked to the Rockies already and could fit right in as a right-handed bench bat.  The Orioles are the only other club known to have an interest in Wigginton this winter, but it seems like he'd have more opportunities for playing time in Colorado.



Orioles Rumors: V-Mart, Garland, Duke, Manny

We know that the Orioles have varying levels of interest in Tsuyoshi Nishioka and Jorge de la Rosa, as well as J.J. Hardy and Jason Bartlett, but here's the latest from Charm City...



Rockies Interested In Kouzmanoff, Cantu, Wigginton

The Rockies have expressed interest in Athletics' third baseman Kevin Kouzmanoff, tweets Troy Renck of The Denver Post. He adds that Jose Lopez, Jorge Cantu, and Ty Wigginton are also on Colorado's radar in a second tweet, calling the team "quietly aggressive" during the GM Meetings.

Kouzmanoff is a non-tender candidate, even moreso now that the A's have brought in Edwin Encarnacion and are aggressively bidding on Adrian Beltre. Renck adds that he would fill the role of Melvin Mora for Colorado, pushing Ian Stewart at third base and potentially platooning with him. Cantu, Lopez, and Wiggington could all do the same as well. Earlier today we learned that the Rockies also have interest in Alex Gordon.



Rockies Rumors: Martinez, Jackson, Wigginton

Rockies GM Dan O’Dowd told Jim Armstrong of the Denver Post that he’s looking for the "right player" this offseason, not the "best player." As Armstrong explains, that could be bad news for the Rockies fans hoping to see Victor Martinez in Denver:

  • The Rockies aren’t likely to make the winning bid on Martinez, though he caught the team’s attention as a potential free agent target.
  • Colorado would pursue an innings eater if Jorge de la Rosa proves too expensive to re-sign. The lefty is drawing interest from multiple teams, including the Yankees and Nationals.
  • Joe Beimel could return to Colorado, but the Rockies have other left-handed relievers including Matt Reynolds and Franklin Morales, so their need for Beimel isn’t pressing.
  • Adding a right-handed hitter is a priority for the Rockies. Their list of candidates includes Conor JacksonTy Wigginton and Jermaine Dye. Jackson is a non-tender candidate and may join Wigginton and Dye on the free agent market within a few weeks. The Rockies have already contacted Dye about a potential deal.









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