Cardinals add Wigginton for bench strength

The St. Louis Cardinals have reportedly come to terms with veteran infielder/outfielder Ty Wigginton on a two-year contract.

The St. Louis Cardinals will be the eighth major league stop in the 12th and 13th years of Ty Wigginton's major league career. The 35-year-old has come to terms with the club on a two-year contract in the $5 million range, reports FOX Sports' Ken Rosenthal.

Wigginton offers power
Though he has played some middle infield, especially second base, Wigginton should be considered primarily a corner infield and corner outfield reserve. Wigginton will give the Cardinals a veteran right-handed bat off the bench – an identified need for the club.

Wigginton's career OPS against left-handed pitching is .810. Facing righties, his OPS is .743. He has 169 career home runs, including double-digit totals in each of the last seven seasons.

As a group, the Cardinals pinch-hitters managed just a .190 average in 2012, 14th of 16 National League clubs. The NL average for pinch-hitters last season was .231.

In 124 career plate appearances as a pinch-hitter, Wigginton's line is not sterling - .233/.347/.350/.696. In 41 PAs pinch-hitting for the Phillies last season, his line was worse - .152/.293/.182/.475.

Wigginton's combined line over 1,315 career MLB games is .263/.324/.438/.762. However, as he moved from Baltimore to Colorado to Philadelphia in the last three seasons, his numbers have been below those career averages each year.

A hard-nosed player, Wigginton has a bit of a checkered history with the Cards. As a member of the Pirates, he took out catcher Yadier Molina at the plate in jarring collisions in both 2004 and 2005. The first time, Molina missed about 10 days of action as a result.

With Skip Schumaker's trade to Los Angeles, the Cardinals had one opening on their 40-man roster, which will be filled by Wigginton. As is always the case, the deal is contingent on the player passing a physical exam.

In this off-season to-date, the Cardinals have also lost Kyle Lohse and Lance Berkman to free agency, while adding left-handed reliever Randy Choate.

To see the entire Cardinals system, by level and position, check out the Roster Matrix at The Cardinal Nation blog.

Update: The Cardinals officially announced the deal on Friday afternoon. Media reports peg Wigginton's salary at a flat $2.5 million in 2013 and 2014.



Brian Walton can be reached via email at brian@thecardinalnationblog.com. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Follow Brian on Twitter.

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