This might be the end of the line for Ty Wigginton, who was released by the Marlins after failing to make the team on a minor-league contract.
Wigginton was released by the Cardinals last season just 58 plate appearances into a two-year, $5 million contract and failed to latch on anywhere else before joining the Marlins in January. He struggled again this spring, going 5-for-34, and at age 36 he no longer really even brings any defensive versatility to the table as a bench player.
Wigginton had a helluva run considering his obvious weaknesses, playing 12 seasons in the majors despite not becoming a regular until at age 25 and not being an above-average hitter since 2009. He’s earned nearly $25 million.
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The White Sox have reportedly picked up first baseman Yonder Alonso from the Indians, according to Stadium. The return for Alonso is expected to be nothing more flashy than a “fringe prospect,” though the minutiae of the deal is still pending a formal announcement from both teams.
Alonso, 31, inked a two-year deal with the Indians during the 2017 offseason. His first campaign with the club yielded a modest .250/.317/.421 batting line, 23 home runs, .738 OPS and 0.7 fWAR in 574 PA. The real boon for the White Sox may not be a passable veteran bat, however, but something more intangible — like Alonso’s clout with his brother-in-law and highly-coveted free agent slugger, Manny Machado.
While Alonso’s 2018 output represented a significant decline from the career-best numbers he posted in 2017, he’s still a solid contributor at the plate and, more importantly, slated to remain under team control for the next two years with just $8 million owed in 2019 and a $9 million option in 2020. As MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince notes, the $17 million the Indians just erased from their payroll should give them enough room to accommodate the contracts for right-handers Trevor Bauer and Corey Kluber — a bonus regardless of what they happen to get in the trade.