Wigginton Lands in Birdland

On the heels of the Mets vastly overpaying for Oliver Perez on the open market, the Orioles swooped in and grabbed Ty Wigginton on a pretty decent deal.

R.J. Anderson previously covered the decision by the Astros to non-tender Wigginton on the eve of his final arbitration season. At the time, R.J. concluded that Wigginton was worth about $7 million per year on the open market, which still holds up given his offensive projections. He did tally three wins last year after all.

Though Wigginton isn’t expected to repeat his 2008-level of offense, a mark about 1.5 up to perhaps 2.0 wins seems about right, for which he would have normally commanded around $7 to $8 million. This has been no normal winter though and while the open market for starting pitchers has remained robust, there’s been a glut of poor fielding decent hitters combined with a renewed appreciation or awareness of defense by General Managers throughout the league (except in Philadelphia).

All that lead to yet another solid by Baltimore GN Andy MacPhail. From a production standpoint, all Wigginton has to do in order to justify this price tag is produce about a win and a half over replacement over the two years of this contract. If he’s able to get a decent amount of playing time in what is now a slightly crowded corner infield/DH team, Ty should have no problem reaching and exceeding that mark. This also opens up the possibility of MacPhail moving someone like Luke Scott to a team in need of an outfielder.

It probably will not get much notice, especially on a team bound to finish fourth at best in what looks like the toughest division of at least the past decade, but make enough of these smart moves and they will eventually add up to something.

Matthew Carruth is a software engineer who has been fascinated with baseball statistics since age five. When not dissecting baseball, he is watching hockey or playing soccer.

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13 years ago

You have to really like what MacPhail is doing… JP Ricciardi should be taking notes.

This is the perfect way to run a team in the position that the Orioles are in. Stick to values on free agents and focus on drafting/scouting/player development. They have consistently made moves where they gave up little and acquired young, cost controlled players with upside. Further, they have still been aggressive in finding cheap, nice fits in free agency that will ensure the product on the field is respectable… theyve shown the younger guys they wont accept a culture of losing. Quite a remarkable rebuilding job… has to be considered ahead of schedule. Of course, drafting Matt Wieters and having Chris Tillman and Adam Jones gifted to you sure helps.