The Ty Wigginton era is about to come to an abrupt end, with the Phillies expected to decline his 4 million dollar option. The money that would be owed to Wigginton made this decision a no brainer, but with Ruben Amaro Jr. at the helm there are no guarantees.
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Wiggy was brought in as a right handed bat that could provide some pop off the bench. 11 home runs in 360 at bats seems to indicate that he did what he was brought in to do, but that would do an evaluation of Wigginton’s season a great injustice. Most of his starts came at third, first and the outfield, where he lacked any kind of range and quick glove needed from a major league defender.
Wigginton’s lack of defensive prowess was expected, but his lack of hitting was a real drag on the Phils. He sported a .235 batting average and .314, but worst of all was his -1.7 WAR. If WAR is an accurate measure of how a player compares to a “AAAA level” player then Wigginton was no better than any of the Vets down in Lehigh Valley.
This number shouldn’t be all that surprising as he had a negative WAR two of the previous three seasons before signing with the Phillies. But hey, these are the types of players Ruben loves giving guaranteed deals worth 4 million. In a roster full of players making 15 million a year and higher, 4 million might not seem like that much. Had Ruben saved that money and spent it on a say a bullpen arm, or a utility outfielder who could hit (Ryan Ludwick anyone?) maybe they could have stolen a couple more games.
Stewing over Ruben’s desire to overpay players isn’t good for your health, so I won’t dwell on it too long. The best thing you can say about the Ty Wigginton era is that Ruben didn’t double down on it.