The Rockies have made their first trade of the 2011-2012 offseason, sending Ty Wigginton to the Philadelphia Phillies in exchange for a player to be named later or cash. Colorado is also absorbing half of Wigginton’s $4 million contract in the deal.
What do the Phillies get out of the trade? They already have, well, everyone. But that’s precisely the reason why Wiggy is a cheap and worthwhile get for them. They can afford to mostly leave him on the bench and bring him in as a pinch-hitter in a low-stakes situation, or do what the Rockies did and stick him at first or third when Ryan Howard or Placido Polanco need a day off.
As for the Rockies, Wiggy was pretty much dead weight after his performance in 2011. He more or less lived up to expectation in terms of his slash line (.242/.315/.416, not too far off his career numbers), but was so ineffective when the game was on the line and he needed a productive at-bat. Toward the end of the season it wasn’t a matter of if he would end an inning with runners on base, but how.
So who will play third base for the Rockies in 2012? Maybe Ian Stewart, hopefully making better use of the grace period he’s been extended. Maybe newly acquired minor league infielder Brandon Wood (though I hope not). Maybe Chris Nelson, maybe Jordan Pacheco, and maybe even Nolan Arenado. We’ll see what happens next.