Alex Rodriguez was seen writhing on the ground in pain after being hit in the left hand with a pitch on Tuesday before leaving the game. As it turns out will be sidelined for a month or more with a fractured hand, and the New York Yankees are looking for a suitable replacement.
According to Joel Sherman of the New York Post, Philadelphia Phillies' third baseman Ty Wigginton is among the players who could be on New York's radar, but the Yankees must avoid trading for him, despite the desire to make a move quickly.
Wigginton would mean wasting a prospect in a trade, and he would struggle to the point where he wouldn't even be playing in New York.
Wigginton is batting .234 with nine home runs and 36 RBI this season for the Phillies. While those aren't horrible numbers, he has become progressively worse, with his 34-year-old body slowing him down.
After batting .322 with two homers and eight RBI in April he has become worse and worse.
In May he batted .218 with 25 strikeouts. In June he batted .222 with 18 strikeouts. So far in July he is batting just .174 with only one home run and three RBI.
In addition to his general decline, he has not been hitting lefty pitchers well, which has been his forte in other years. He is batting just .208 against them and has only recorded six extra base hits.
What's worse about Wigginton is that he isn't just struggling at the plate.
On Wednesday's game against the Milwaukee Brewers he had two errors and could have been given a third. His defense was pathetic, and it almost cost the Phillies the game, as the Brewers scored an unearned run in the 10th inning before the Phillies scored two runs to win 7-6.
In just 20 games at third base this year he already has eight errors, and his fielding percentage of .830 is the worst at the position of his career.
Wigginton is not a suitable replacement in terms of offense, and his defense is pitiful.
The answer for the Yankees may be sitting in their dugout.
The Yanks should be looking in-house for A-Rod's replacement. With both Eric Chavez and Jayson Nix hitting and fielding better than Wigginton, there is no need to add a third option who might not play.
Chavez is the better option, batting .266 with eight homers and 20 RBI is injury 65 games this season. He is playing well right now, and would be able to keep the Yankees as the winningest team in baseball.
A rival American League GM said that Chavez won't be able to play for without hurting himself, saying “There is zero chance Chavez can play regularly for eight weeks [without breaking down]” (NY Post). However, playing him and Nix on alternate days will certainly be good enough for a Yankees lineup that has future Hall of Famer Ichiro batting eighth.
Nix is playing better than Wigginton right now, batting .244 with three homers and 10 RBI in just 86 at-bats this season.
Unlike Wigginton, however, Nix is only getting better.
After batting .222 in May and .240 in June he is batting .265 in July. He's also hitting lefties well, batting .275 against them. He is also playing well in the field, and has yet to record an error at third base this year.
While Chavez and Nix aren't exactly stars, they are a better option than Wigginton. The Yankees don't need to trade away any more prospect for a mediocre utility player who they'll only need for a few weeks.
If the Yanks are going to make a deal it shouldn't be for Wigginton, and they must avoid no matter the asking price