In talking to people down here in Orlando, there’s palpable shock over how the market is developing this winter. The Jayson Werth deal looms over everything, but even the guys expected to settle for smaller deals are coming away with surprising quantities of years and dollars. That trend continued this morning when the Rockies gave Ty Wigginton a two year, $7.5 million contract to do… I’m not sure what, exactly.
It’s not that Wigginton is useless – he’s got some decent power and even draws walks against LHPs, so he can have some value as the lesser half of a DH platoon. Unfortunately, the Rockies play in the league that doesn’t use the DH, and they just acquired a better version of this exact same player last week when they traded for Jose Lopez.
It would be hard to find two more similarly skilled players in the game than Lopez and Wigginton. They are both slow-footed right-handed infielders with some power and no patience. Lopez is a decent enough defensive third baseman who can fake it at second and has experience at first as well. Wigginton has experience at all three spots, though he’s awful at nearly all of them.
Giving Lopez $3.6 million for one year to see if he can thrive in Coors Field, while serving as a backup corner infielder who can also play second, was a decent enough idea. Giving Wigginton that same amount of money for two years to duplicate what they just had is, well, not.
Usually, even if a move doesn’t seem to be a great idea, you can see the logic behind it. This one, though? I honestly have no idea what the Rockies are doing. In order to come up with scenarios where both of these guys play enough to justify the contracts, you have to stick better players on the bench, and they had to guarantee Wigginton a second year in order to create this problem.
Maybe there’s a trade coming that will allow this move to make more sense. Or maybe this market really is just bananas.
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