The Cardinals have announced that they signed utility player Ty Wiggington to a two-year contract to give the team needed depth and a righthanded bench bat.
Wigginton, 35, has played for the Pirates, Mets, Rays, Astros, Rockies, Orioles and Phillies over an 11-year career in which he has compiled a .263 batting average with 169 homers.
In 2012 he hit .235 with 11 homers in 315 at bats with the Phillies. Wigginton has experience at the infield and outfield corners as well as second base. Basically, he's a righthanded Skip Schumaker with more versatility and pop in his bat.
Wigginton isn't a big splash signing. But he's a guy who can be reasonably productive in the batting order while filling in when Carlos Beltran or Matt Holliday need a break or if David Freese or Allen Craig are injured. He could come off the bench late against a lefty hitter to to take over for Daniel Descalso at second base.
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Personally, I think it is a much better signing than if the Cardinals followed through on their alleged interest in signing Mets free agent Scott Hairston. Wigginton not only is a much cheaper player, but he's more versatile and has a much better on base percentage than Hairston who gets on at about a .300 clip. Wiggington gets on with a .324 on base percentage. It's not great. But it's reasonable for a utility player.
One aspect Wigginton doesn't offer is the ability to back up in centerfield. But the Cardinals still have Shane Robinson available for that role. And I'm fairly certain that Oscar Tavares will be in the centerfield mix before 2013 is over.