Tuesday, December 23, 2008

All I Want for Christmas Is...Ty Wiggington?

That's right Santa, don't look at me like that. The San Francisco Giants flirted with CC Sabathia just long enough to convince us die-hards that the boys are serious about competing next year while also (and wisely) battening down for the long haul.

Now, there's a rumor they're after Ty Wiggington. If management inked him, I'd consider it good news since he makes the most sense for the Orange and Black.

Huh, there's a sentence I never thought I'd enter into permanent recording.

However, I'm serious. Wiggington would be about as perfect a piece as is currently available. He's not exactly a spring chicken, but at 31, he's still in the window that most experts consider a player's prime.

Granted, the window is just about closed.

But he's a relative bargain despite being slated for a raise from his salary of $4.35 million last year. It's pure and utter conjecture, but I'd imagine SF could grab him for $6 million or less per year for a couple years. That'd be about a ~35 percent raise and it'd still be a soft contract to absorb if it went south.

Considering all the gloom and doom the professional sports are trying to sell in the worsening economy, it's possible San Francisco could snare him for less.

Regardless, I think that's a good price for a guy who can play pretty much anywhere except shortstop, catcher, and center. Wiggington seems like a reliable .275 hitter and launched 23 bombs last year in only 386 at-bats. The power is a little misleading because the Houston Astros' home park is almost literally a bandbox.

No way he approaches that homer total in the cavernous confines of Pac Bell. No. Way.

Ty might hit 23 taters, but only if he sees 500 ABs. Of course, that would have led the team this year by a leap and a bound. Wrap it all together and you have a flex fielder who'll ogle .300 for most of the season, hit 15-20 dongs, drive in about 80 runs, and all for the paltry price of $6 million a year for a couple years.

That sentence sounds crazy and it is, yet it's unfortunately true in modern Major League Baseball.

Furthermore, the rumor looks just as rosy from a different angle.

Figure the Giants are not done yet making moves this offseason. If that's the case, check out some of the other hitters available (I think it's safe to say the rotation and pen is set for the most part) - Jason Giambi, Milton Bradley, Orlando Hudson, Pat Burrell, Bobby Abreu, Adam Dunn, Manny Ramirez, and Mark Teixeira.

Those guys are either outrageously expensive (Burrell, Abreu, Dunn, Ramirez, Teixeira), old (Giambi), or unnecessary (Hudson, Bradley). Some are a combination of all three. The most attractive, Big Tex, is rep'd by Scott Boras.

That man disgusts me and I want no more part of him than we're already forced to stomach.

If SF went after any of them, it'd be a mistake and signing Wiggington would make such a counterproductive pursuit unlikely. That makes him all the more attractive in my eyes.

Obviously, Ty Wiggington won't turn the Giants into a championship contender. The best-case scenario would probably see him being a substantial (though not critical) piece in a playoff push. At worst, he'd be a lateral step.

Considering some of the lumps of coal still available on the market, that's just fine by me.

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