What Was The Point Of Signing Ty Wigginton?
What was St. Louis Cardinals GM John Mozeliak thinking when he signed utility infielder Ty Wigginton to a 2-year, $5 million contact?
I don’t know. And I’m sure you don’t, either.
MLB GMs make mistakes. We know that. Free agent signings and trades often go awry. It’d take a crystal ball for a general manager to never guess wrong.
But Wigginton? – 35-year old Ty Wigginton? The guy that has played for six teams in seven seasons?
You could see this coming from a mile away. All you had to do was squint down at his stat-sheet to know that he wasn’t going to work out with the Cardinals.
And he hasn’t been working out. He’s done exactly what I thought he’d do.
Wigginton was signed by the Cardinals to do things that he hasn’t done well in years. He was brought into the organization by Mozeliak to hit lefties, pinch hit, and play good defense at both first and third base.
He’s accomplishing none of that.
His overall statistical line for 2013 is .200/.304/.225/.529, and his line against left-handed pitching is even worse (.133/.235/.200/.435).
He has zero home runs and only three runs batted in.
In total, he’s been given only 46 plate appearances over 30 games. In 24 of those games, he has appeared as a sub, hitting a horrid .174/.240/.217/.457. He’s also just hitting .211 as a pinch hitter. And his pinch hitting numbers in 2012 were no better (.152/.293/.182). For his career, he has hit only .231 in these situations.
It all adds up to a failed signing for the Cardinals.
The acquisition of Wigginton was a particularly curious one – even when it was first announced – due to his falling production in recent years.
Coming into the 2013 season, Wigginton had posted a statistical line of .250/.313/.404/.718 over his previous four seasons, since the start of the 2009 season.
His OPS in 2012 was a cringe-worthy .688.
His batting average has fallen in four consecutive seasons, and his early output in 2013 threatens to make it five consecutive seasons –
2008: .285 /// 2009: .273 /// 2010: .248 /// 2011: .242 /// 2012: .235 /// 2013: .200
Furthermore, Wigginton has always been below average defensively at 1B and 3B. In 2010, he committed the second-most errors in the league for first basemen.
Plainly stated, he’s a defensive liability. He provides the team with little to no defensive versatility.
So, what was Mozeliak thinking as he poured over Wigginton’s statistics and decided to make him a Cardinal?
I don’t know. You don’t know. Wigginton might not even know.
He must be one hell of a clubhouse presence.