Report: Orioles place Ty Wigginton on waivers

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According to Nick Cafardo of the Boston Globe, the Orioles placed infielder Ty Wigginton on waivers Wednesday afternoon.  Again, most players are placed on waivers this time of year and it’s going to be hard for a claiming team to execute a trade.  So let’s not get too worked up.  But it is worth talking about.

Wigginton, 32, has thrown up a mediocre .261/.334/.456 batting line in 395 at-bats this year for Baltimore and isn’t a strong defender on the infield even though the O’s have played him at a variety of positions this season. 

What he does bring is power, and there isn’t a contending team in baseball that would pass on adding a reliable power bat.  Wigginton, a right-handed hitter, has tallied 18 home runs, 21 doubles and 60 RBI in 394 at-bats this season.  Some of that production has been aided by the cozy confines of Baltimore’s Camden Yards, but he’s no slouch.

The Twins could use Wigginton as a fill-in for Justin Morneau, who is still nursing a concussion, the Red Sox could bring him on to ease the pain of losing Kevin Youkilis, and the White Sox have been on the hunt for offense ever since July.  If he passes through waivers in the American League, a host of National League teams would have interest as well.  The Cardinals are looking for corner infield help, the Giants need some run-scoring potential and the Padres certainly wouldn’t mind boosting their bench.  We’ll see if something can be pulled off.

Cubs sign Brett Anderson to a $3.5 million deal

Brett Anderson
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports reports that the Cubs have signed pitcher Brett Anderson to a contract, pending a physical. Anderson, apparently, impressed the Cubs during a bullpen session held in Arizona recently. According to Jeff Passan of Yahoo Sports, the deal is for $3.5 million, but incentives can bring the total value up to $10 million.

Anderson, 28, has only made a total of 53 starts and 12 relief appearances over the past five seasons due to a litany of injuries. This past season, he made just three starts and one relief appearance, yielding 15 runs on 25 hits and four walks with five strikeouts in 11 1/3 innings. The lefty dealt with back, wrist, and blister issues throughout the year.

When he’s healthy, Anderson is a solid arm to have at the back of a starting rotation or in the bullpen. The defending world champion Cubs aren’t risking much in bringing him on board.

Yordano Ventura’s remaining contract hinges on the results of his toxicology report

DETROIT, MI - SEPTEMBER 24: Yordano Ventura #30 of the Kansas City Royals pitches against the Detroit Tigers during the first inning at Comerica Park on September 24, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Duane Burleson/Getty Images)
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Ken Rosenthal of FOX Sports provides an interesting window into how teams handle a player’s contract after he has died in an accident. It was reported on Sunday that Royals pitcher Yordano Ventura died in a car accident in the Dominican Republic. He had three guaranteed years at a combined $19.25 million as well as two $12 million club options with a $1 million buyout each for the 2020-21 seasons.

What happens to that money? Well, that depends on the results of a toxicology report, Rosenthal explains. If it is revealed that Ventura was driving under the influence, payment to his estate can be nullified. The Royals may still choose to pay his estate some money as a gesture of good will, but they would be under no obligation to do so. However, if Ventura’s death was accidental and not caused by his driving under the influence, then his contract remains fully guaranteed and the Royals would have to pay it towards his estate. The Royals would be reimbursed by insurance for an as yet unknown portion of that contract.

The results of the toxicology report won’t be known for another three weeks, according to Royals GM Dayton Moore. Dominican Republic authorities said that there was no alcohol found at the scene.

Ventura’s situation is different than that of Marlins pitcher Jose Fernandez, who died in a boating accident this past September. Fernandez was not under contract beyond 2016. He was also legally drunk and cocaine was found in his system after the accident. Still, it is unclear whether or not Fernandez was driving the boat. As a result, his estate will receive an accidental death payment of $1.05 million as well as $450,000 through the players’ standard benefits package, Rosenthal points out.