Rockies make Wigginton signing official

December 15, 2010 | 5:08 pm | 29  

The Colorado Rockies announced the signing of infielder Ty Wigginton. The deal is for two years, reportedly worth $7.5 million with a $500,000 buyout on a 2013 option.

Wigginton, who agreed to terms with the Rockies during last week’s winter meetings, is expected to split time backing up Todd Helton at first base and Ian Stewart at third. He also can play second base and left field. Wigginton, 33, hit .248 with 22 home runs and 76 RBI with the Baltimore Orioles in 2010.

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29 Comments »

  • John Moore | December 15, 2010 | 5:54 pm

    With what they are paying Wiggington and Lopez, what are the thoughts about Stewart’s upcoming contract in his arbitration year? In terms of money?

  • Jim | December 15, 2010 | 7:06 pm

    Can he CATCH??

  • Anonymous | December 15, 2010 | 8:42 pm

    With regard to Stewart’s upcoming arbitration next year, the outragous money given to Mark Reynolds (2-year $13M) should factor in. I honestly don’t see how someone who hits below the mendoza line gets that kinds of money. He might also be comparable to Casey Blake, who got 3 yrs/$17.5M before the 2009 season. If he performs this year, and lives up to expectations, $6M might be the starting point.

  • Reader f/k/a Mike | December 15, 2010 | 8:49 pm

    “what are the thoughts about Stewart’s upcoming contract in his arbitration year? In terms of money?”

    What do you mean? Those deals won’t bear on what Stewart will get, as arbitrators tend to look at stats and compare to other players with comparable experience levels. As a super-two (a player with 2+ yrs of service time rather than the usual 3), Stewart pretty much has the lowest service time for an arb-eligible player. My guess is he’ll end up with something around $2 million for 2011. In recent years some super-two’s have gotten more, but they’ve also put up bigger numbers (Luke Scott, Hunter Pence).

  • Reader f/k/a Mike | December 15, 2010 | 9:14 pm

    So, the roster seems to be mostly set, save for a possible backup catcher, a reliever or two, and possibly some sort of scrub starter who will likely start the year in the Springs.

    E.g., I’d say these guys are set:

    Pitchers (probably carry 12):

    Rotation:
    Jimenez (R)
    DLR (L)
    Chacin (R)
    Hammel (R)
    Cook (R)

    Pen:
    Rogers (R)
    M Reynolds (L)
    Belisle (R)
    Betancourt (R)
    Street (R)

    Contenders for last two spots:
    FA reliever to be chased after (Fairview alum Jesse Crain just signed with the White Sox):
    Paulino (R)
    Morales (L)
    Daley (R)
    G Reynolds (R), GSmith (L), etc.

    Position players (13):

    Iannetta (R)
    McKenry (R) or backup catcher to be signed

    Helton (L)
    Lopez (R)
    Stewart (L)
    Tulo (R)
    Wigginton (R)

    Gonzalez (L)
    Fowler (B)
    Smith (L)
    Spilborghs (R)

    Contenders for the last two spots (prob in this order?)
    Herrera (B)
    Young (B)
    Nelson (R)
    ?

    Pen looks a little short of lefties given Tracy’s proclivities. Short of having Beimel return, that could mean…duh duh DUHHHH…Morales?

    If this is the roster it’s a bit disappointing, as there isn’t a big improvement over last year’s lineup. One would hope Lopez will be more consistent than Barmes (low bar there), and while Wigginton should provide more power than Mora, he probably doesn’t project to be a better overall hitter than Mora was last season. If Helton suffers an extended absence, Wigginton will step in at 1st, but isn’t a great bat for the position.

    The rotation pretty much stands pat but could be better with a little more luck with health. One would hope DLR makes more starts. Chacin for a full year should help, esp. if Jimenez cannot repeat his stellar season. I think Cook will rebound, but his health could again be an issue, and it seems likely he’ll again miss at least a few starts.

  • Reader f/k/a Mike | December 15, 2010 | 9:18 pm

    Anonymous, re. Reynolds:

    He signed that deal in spring training of 2010, I believe. I don’t think the D-Backs planned on him hitting 59 points below his career average.

  • Bill | December 15, 2010 | 9:20 pm

    Didn’t know where to put this comment, but Bob Feller died tonight. One of the greatest right-handed pitchers of all time. He won 266 games but lost (I believe) four seasons in his prime when he served in the military during WWII.

    I was only 10 or 11 when he retired but I saw him pitch a few times on TV. I believe his boyhood home in Iowa is off I-80. Great pitcher and great man. I believe he made his major league debut at 17! Wow!

  • Mike Raysfan | December 15, 2010 | 10:08 pm

    There was little to no chance that Jesse Crain was going to be signed by the Rockies, inspite of the speculation by some media outlet(s).

    One guy that was mentioned by the actual Rockies, Rich Harden, was signed by the A’s.

    I hope you’re right about Cook but unfortunately I have about zero optimism. Not even the slightest bit of cautious optimism. I stand by what I predicited last season, Cook, Aug, DL. Remember, he went into last season allegedly a few lbs less and in really good shape.

    Agreed about the starters. In the grand scheme of things they “should” be better. They should be better just by the fact that Chacin will go from day one and Greg Smith will not. That should account for a few more wins and a few less losses. I’m also counting on Jorge to be a 15 game winner.

    Hammel? Unfortunately, I was already biased. Still, I learned something last season or maybe I was being too critical and read too much into it. Still, I think at least 1 or 2 media guys felt the same way. It wasn’t really commented on. I do remember Jack Corrigan making a comment but he also stated he wouldn’t go there. I can’t remember exactly what he said.

    I wish they would add a really solid starter and not just some innings eater.

  • Redhawk | December 15, 2010 | 11:26 pm

    Reader f/k/a Mike

    I agree the roster looks very much like last year’s. I was hoping for some upgrades. Keeping JDLR is great and all…but he was on the team last year.

    One player, I’m starting to have hopes for is Charlie Blackmon. He maybe the next Rockie to make it and be a starter. I’m crossing fingers that he’s an upgrade over smith/Spilly.

    I’m also hoping the Rockies sign Bengie Molina for one year. I just don’t see McKenry hitting in the bigs..he didn’t light up the minors, and every report I’ve read on him regard him as Danny Ardoin part deux. Pacheco and Rosario don’t appear to be ready yet, and Rosario is coming off shoulder injury. AND…give me this dream..maybe Bengie could be the hitter that he was 3 years ago…for just one more year. (yeah, yeah…none of us are getting younger, even Bengie)

  • Wayne | December 16, 2010 | 7:31 am

    I don’t understand why everyone feels Hammel should be our 4th starter. If he is #4 we are in trouble. He is a #5 at the very best. Start Cook #4, unless we can make a trade for a Floyd which would move Chacin to #4. I just don’t see Hammel as a #4. IMHO.

    I think Garner makes the team as the 5th OF, and my choice for back-ip C would be to sign Bard. I like Herrera but want to see Nelson light up spring training and make the club. I am not a EY2 fan and think he has way too many shortcomings.

    We need to sign Beimel, who has said he wants to return. Morales scares me, as does G. Reynolds and G. Smith. Maybe Paulino comes through as a BP or 5th starter.

  • Bob | December 16, 2010 | 8:15 am

    I think Herrera has pretty much made the team. He is the only one who has played SS and can give Tulo a day off here and there.

  • Neil | December 16, 2010 | 8:31 am

    Why O’Dowd hasn’t brought Beimel back yet is beyond me…Reynolds and Morales as the left-handed options out of the ‘pen scares me to say the least…

  • Jared | December 16, 2010 | 10:15 am

    Agreed. Why haven’t we locked up Beimel? I trust his stuff WAY more than Morales.

  • Eric G. | December 16, 2010 | 10:57 am

    Redhawk,

    Wasn’t Rosario’s injury to his knee? I think everyone here is under estimating Ty Wigginton. Personally I think he’s a big upgrade over Mora. Another thing I’ve heard about this guy is that people compare him to Tulo in that he’s a gamer and plays hard. We need another guy like that on this team. Too many guys on the Rockies are way too laid back for me.

  • Jack Etkin | December 16, 2010 | 11:13 am

    Redhawk/Eric G.

    Rosario’s injury was to his right knee _ a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered Aug. 3. Surgery was three weeks later. Recovery is said to be going very well.

  • Rocky | December 16, 2010 | 11:41 am

    I too look forward to having another tough gritty guy on the team to maybe counter-act the laid back types(like Stewart, Smith etc…). Tulo can’t do it alone.

  • Jeff S. | December 16, 2010 | 11:50 am

    I think a forgotten man in this discussion is Paulino. His numbers to me are very similar to DLR’s before coming to the Rockies, and if you throw out an abysmal start right before he went on the DL last year (8 ER vs. KC) he trends about as well as you would ask from a 4th or 5th starter. I think Apodaca can get more out of him.
    That being said, the arrival of Lee should remind everyone the importance of having a right-handed power bat in the lineup in addition to Tulo. I’m not sure if Blackmon is an upgrade over Smith/Spilly, especially this year.

  • Jeff S. | December 16, 2010 | 12:12 pm

    But I guess Willingham won’t be the answer … He just got shipped to Oakland for “one player with MLB experience and a minor leaguer.”

  • Brett | December 16, 2010 | 1:08 pm

    2011 will go very much like 2010 with this roster. Frustrating year, highlighted by brilliant seasons from two or three of our guys. If this is how it stays, my hopes for the season go from postseason threat to hoping Fowler develops into a solid leadoff hitter, Stewart hits .270, DLR grows into his own and we win more games than we lose against the Dodgers.

  • Julian | December 16, 2010 | 1:17 pm

    The market for relievers is pretty hot, so I wonder if we haven’t signed Beimel or another reliever yet because DOD is only willing to offer a one year contract, and other teams are offering contracts for multiple years.

    To what extent does DOD think that he can make do internally? In addition to Street, Bettancourt, Belisle, M. Reynolds, Morales (!?), Rogers, and Paulino, he also has Daley, Brothers, Deduno, Escalona, Billings, and Weathers “on deck”. Daley certainly was an OK reliever two years ago. Is there a reason to believe that he can’t return to that level if he stays healthy? Is he healthy now?

  • Eric G. | December 16, 2010 | 2:43 pm

    I don’t quite understand the negativity towards the roster. I think the roster we have this year although almost the same, is better than last year. We were right in the thick of things almost all year. If it were not for a couple of injuries (Street at the begining of the year, DLR, Tulo, Hawpe when he hurt his ribs I think it was) we could have easily made the playoffs. And that was with several players having down years! With just a LITTLE improvement from FISSH and Cook we will be tough to beat! Have a little faith.

  • Eric W. | December 16, 2010 | 2:54 pm

    Heard Rockies won’t get Gavin Floyd but as of know with Feliciano, and Crain off the market who else are the Rockies targeting and do they still have any interest in any bats that are free agents or trade targets?

  • ProgMatinee | December 16, 2010 | 4:08 pm

    Man there are a lot of Erics (my included) on this site!

    I think the lineup is pretty solid as well. Certainly needs a few players to step it up, but I think its in the top 4 in the NL along with Philly, ATL, and Cincy.

    Rotation is going to be sketchy though.

  • Jasper | December 16, 2010 | 4:13 pm

    I agree that there is no reason to be negative with the roster, but with the Phillies signing lee, their fans have a reason to be positive, while Rockie fans look at the same names in the rotation and many of the names that were on the roster at the conclusion of the last season. However, does that mean that we are deprived of being positive?

    Last year, Cargo and Tulo were not the stars at the beginning that they are now – and there is reason to believe that their future is more bright than last year’s effort. There is hope that the Stewart, Smith, Fowler, Iannetta, Helton (FISSH) crowd will be improved – a solid hope in the case of Fowler, and if Stewart -the key to me – begins to show up, and if Wigginton is used correctly by Tracy to give plenty of rest to Helton, and if Helton becomes a reasonable facsimile of the 09 Helton, and if Smith improves, and if Iannetta steps up — then hey – hey – hey!!! If enough of these bozos fail, then the negativity is justified. I believe that the chances are good that enough of these guys will step up to keep the Rockies in the race and into the playoffs.

    For pitching, it is unreasonable to expect another year like last year from Ubaldo, but a serious drop off is also unreasonable. A full year out of DLR and Street, with a comeback year from Cook, and a full year of Chacin, and Tracy can be smiling with Paulino/Hammel/Rogers, etc. at #5. A trade of Morales, EYJ, etc for something is not a bad thing. A real first base prospect is still missing from the minor league system, but, we hope, there is still time for that – not urgent this year. In fact, the Rockies have no urgent needs.

    As of now, the roster lacks a good left handed bat on the bench when Smith, Helton and Stewart are playing. There is a lack of experience at back up catcher. But there are arms in the minors for bullpen insurance -not the Greg Reynolds or the Greg Smiths, but real talent like Deduno, Brothers and Daley.

    For purple lenses, I have two – I hope that it is justified.

  • Wayne | December 16, 2010 | 5:00 pm

    Looks like we got a back-up catcher. From MLBTR.com

    “The Rockies have acquired catcher Jose Morales from the Twins in exchange for minor league left-hander Paul Bargas, according to a Minnesota team release. Morales hit .297/.370/.354 in 181 plate appearances over parts of three seasons with the Twins, only seeing significant playing time while filling in for an injured Joe Mauer in April 2009. Bargas, taken in the 13th round of the 2009 amateur draft, posted a 3.59 ERA in 58 relief appearances for Colorado’s Single-A Asheville affiliate last season.”

    Can’t say I ever heard of Bargas, and I follow the Rox. Can’t say I ever heard of Morales, and I don’t follow the Twins. This could add some depth.

  • Julian | December 16, 2010 | 5:16 pm

    Was Morales Mauer’s backup in 2010? Does he go on the 40 man roster? If so, I think that puts us at 39, leaving one spot left, so if we add more than one player, then we’ll have to juggle.

  • ProgMatinee | December 16, 2010 | 5:54 pm

    without really knowing the players, i have to say i find it again a bit confusing why we deal a player from the shallower part of our organization for a position we are deep on.

  • Steve Foster | December 16, 2010 | 6:13 pm

    Rockies just sent out a release about the trade and I posted the news. Morales goes on the 40-man roster and he’ll compete for the backup job. Reason for the move is pretty straightforward: Rockies aren’t sure they have a clear backup in McKenry or Pagnozzi and wanted another option. Morales is a switch-hitter, too, which never hurts. Bargas wasn’t much of a prospect, so Rockies didn’t give up much. What this reinforces is what the Rockies have been saying all offseason in the face of rumors they were chasing Bengie Molina or Mike Napoli: Iannetta is the starter. Bringing in someone like Molina or bringing back Olivo only takes time away from Iannetta and the team appears committed to giving him a full chance in 2011. If he struggles, the Rockies likely will take a serious look Pacheco and/or Rosario at some point next season. News is here.

  • David Roberts | December 17, 2010 | 5:07 pm

    Several people said that the Rox hoped to resign Jeff Francis, despite releasing him last fall. Any reports on his status? Is he still an free agent? What are the chances of regaining a decent fastball–he was only in the mid-to-high 80s when I saw him in September vs. 91-92 in 2007…