Ruben Amaro Jr. is searching for that elusive right-handed bench bat. Here’s what we know.
Nomar Garciaparra: The first name surfacing, Garciaparra may not retire, which may make him a possibility for the Phillies. A 1B/3B/SS combo, he would jump into the top right-handed bench spot while providing slight relief for Pedro Feliz and Ryan Howard.
2008: .264 AVG / 8 HR / 28 RBI
Ty Wigginton: Hitting 20+ home runs for three consecutive seasons, Wigginton is a powerful bat who can play 1B/2B/3B/LF. While not amazing with the glove, he’d be a decent defensive upgrade from Howard and Ibanez when necessary.
2008: .285 AVG / 23 HR / 58 RBI
Moises Alou: Somewhere in his 40s, Alou is hurt a lot, but if healthy is a very potent bat who could platoon in left field (or right field, maybe). He barely played in 2008.
2008: .347 AVG / 0 HR / 9 RBI
Kevin Millar: Mr. “Cowboy Up” hit 20 homers as the Orioles’ starting first baseman. That doesn’t keep you a starter. He could play the corner outfield positions, too.
2008: .234 AVG / 20 HR / 72 RBI
Rich Aurilia: He can play all infield positions, but is fitting in more at first base these days. He’s a better contact hitter than Millar, but has half the power.
2008: .283 AVG / 10 HR / 52 RBI
Mark Grudzielanek: The man who once threatened to break the league record for doubles in a season has become somewhat of a one-trick pony. He can hit the ball, but for singles and doubles. He can play second base and shortstop.
2008: .299 AVG / 3 HR / 24 RBI
Thoughts: Wigginton is the best option, bar none. He can step in at multiple positions, and though his playing time might dip, he could still pound 20 homers playing half the time at Citizens Bank Park. I wouldn’t mind Garciaparra or maybe Aurilia, but by adding Wigginton, it would push Eric Bruntlett to a defensive replacement position, which is where he’s best. It would also push Matt Stairs off the roster, which is okay. Wiggy would fit in well.