After signings, Orioles may look to deal Wigginton

Leave a comment

Last season Ty Wigginton started 38 games at first base, 35 games at third base, and 23 games at designated hitter for the Orioles, but with offseason signings Miguel Tejada and Garrett Atkins now manning the corner infield spots MASNSports.com’s Roch Kubatko speculates that Wigginton could be traded before Opening Day.
Tejada, Atkins, and Wigginton are all right-handed hitters, so there’s no real room for a time-sharing arrangement there, but the Orioles could give him starts platooning with left-handed bat Luke Scott at DH. Paying $3.5 million for a platoon DH probably doesn’t sound great to the Orioles, but that’s actually pretty close to the best possible use of Wigginton.
His glove isn’t much good anywhere and he typically struggles against right-handed pitching, but Wigginton has hit .286/.364/.496 against left-handers over the past three seasons. During that same time Scott batted .247/.319/.474 versus lefties, so by keeping Wigginton around the Orioles could add 50-75 points of OPS to the lineup when a southpaw is on the mound. And he also has some value as a backup 1B/3B/LF/RF/DH.
Of course, if they can get any kind of decent prospect for him they should. But that seems unlikely.

Rays lose, clinching postseason berth for Athletics

Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
1 Comment

The Rays lost 4-1 to the Yankees on Monday night, which clinched a postseason berth for the Athletics just as they began their own game against the Mariners. For the 94-62 A’s, it’s their first postseason appearance since 2014 when they lost the AL Wild Card game to the Royals.

Major League Baseball celebrated the Athletics’ achievement by tweeting this fact: The A’s are the first team since 1988 to make the postseason with baseball’s lowest Opening Day payroll ($66 million).

Yay?

John J. Fisher, who has owned the A’s since 2005, has a net worth approaching $3 billion. The Athletics franchise is valued at over $1 billion. Yet the A’s have never had an Opening Day payroll at $90 million or above and have consistently been among the teams with the lowest payrolls. The cultural shift towards embracing analytics has allowed the A’s to get away with investing as little money as possible into the team. Moneyball helped change baseball’s zeitgeist such that many began to fetishize doing things on the cheap and now the league itself is embracing it.

What the fact MLB tweeted says is actually this: John J. Fisher was able to save a few bucks this year and the A’s still somehow made it to the postseason.

The Athletics’ success is due to a whole host of players, but particularly youngsters Matt Olson, Matt Chapman, Sean Manaea, Daniel Mengden, Lou Trivino, among others. All are pre-arbitration aside from Manaea. When it comes time to pay them something approaching what they’re actually worth, will the A’s reward them for their contributions or will they do what they’ve always done and cut bait? After reaching the postseason in 2014, the A’s traded away Josh Donaldson, Brandon Moss, Jeff Samardzija, and John Jaso. Each was a big influence on the club’s success. Athletics fans should be happy their favorite team has reached the postseason, but if the team’s history is any precedent, they shouldn’t get attached to any of the players. Is that really something Major League Baseball should be advocating?