First, a weather update: My street is covered in tiny hailstones. Fun!
Onward. There’s one more third-base option for the Giants now that Ty Wigginton got the old can o’ shite from his employer the Astros. He was non-tendered, as the ‘Stros feared a big arbitration payday, and is now a free agent. Various readers emailed me this weekend to say “Wigginton!” — or — “Wigginton?” — or — “Enlarge your *** size,” and with the latter, they weren’t talking about on-base percentage. Or maybe they were, indirectly.
Anyway, Wigginton had a career year in 2008, including a best-ever OBP of .350. He also slugged .526, a tasty combo indeed if not for a few factors. Let us count them.
One: It was only 386 at-bats. Two: We can probably attribute the power spike to being a righty hitter playing homes games in Houston, where the LF bleacher and baseball reunion is only a pop-up away. (Apologies to Paul Simon.) Three: No one wants to see him up close on the Jumbotron more than once every few weeks. Four: His glove at 3B was a bit below average last year, and that was his best showing ever. Five: He’s on several teams’ radar screens, which means the Giants won’t be able to swoop in early and pull what’s known as a “half-Affeldt.”
My two centavos: I say go for a contract that won’t hurt if Wigginton is used as a super-utility guy, filling in at third, first and left field. Don’t get into a bidding war. Don’t promise him a starting job (which will probably be a deal-killer for him). He’s a younger Rich Aurilia, mashing the lefty, not so much against the righty, and not giving back the love with the leather. Wigginton on the roster for a year would give Bochy a lot of lineup flexibility. For more than a year, he might wear out his welcome.