Saturday, December 13, 2008

Hot New Option at the Hot Corner

For the second off-season in a row the Twins may be importing some infield help from down south. The difference is, this time it would be the right move to make, as opposed to last off-season’s Adam Everett and Mike Lamb debacles.

Ty Wigginton was non-tendered by the Houston Astros on Friday night as part of a cost-cutting measure to reduce payroll. In doing so, the Astros have given the Twins an enticing new option at third-base, a position the team has been seeking to upgrade this off-season.

Prior to his re-signing with the Los Angeles Dodgers, there was much speculation that the Twins were front-runners to land Casey Blake to man the hot-corner. The two sides ran into a sticking-point in regards to contract length and the deal fell through. The other big-name free-agent at the position is the oft-injured Joe Crede who is coming off another back surgery and represented by Scott Boras.

The Twins main targets via trade appear to be Garrett Atkins of Colorado and Adrian Beltre of Seattle, but neither seems to be available at a cost the Twins deem reasonable.

Thus the entry of Ty Wigginton into the free-agent picture has to make the Twins very excited. Wigginton compares very well statistically to all of the other third-base options available and comes at a much more sensible price for the penny-pinching Twins.

In the chart below you’ll see a comparison of the top options the Twins are/were considering and Wigginton. All five players listed are right-handed hitting third-basemen with some pop which is exactly what the Twins are seeking. The numbers are pretty streamlined across the board in terms of power production, but Wigginton offers it with a cheaper price tag.

Here’s to hoping Bill Smith pounces on this opportunity.

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