Just a little while ago, SB Nation MLB News reported some tweets from Jayson Stark and Joel Sherman that said the Yankees are considering outside options for third base like Marco Scutaro and Ty Wigginton despite their claims that they are content with an Eric Chavez/Jayson Nix platoon. The Yankees said they were content with many other situations in the past, then subsequently found an outside solution anyway, so it's fair to question the team's claim (Announcements of Bubba Crosby as a starting outfielder in '06 and Jesus Montero as a starting catcher in '11 come to mind). Commenters on the Pinstripe Alley site have speculated about these names over the past few days as well, so it's worth considering the options. So how do Marco Scutaro and Wigginton compare to what the Yankees have now?
Eric Chavez (177 PAs): .266/.328/.468, .335 wOBA, 107 wRC+
Jayson Nix (94 PAs): .244/.293/.430, .305 wOBA, 86 wRC+
Marco Scutaro (411 PAs): .271/.324/.359, .302 wOBA, 77 wRC+
Ty Wigginton (285 PAs): .234/.305/.373, .297 wOBA, 83 wRC+
Scutaro is not really an improvement over Nix and he hasn't played third base since 2008. Wigginton's not much better, and he's dreadful at third base (-22.4 UZR/150 this year in 165.2 innings, and -15.4 UZR/150 for his career). Based on the 2012 season numbers, the only reason the Yankees would consider acquiring one of these players is that even though Nix's numbers aren't great, he's still playing over his head. Nix sports a .211/.281/.374 career triple slash and a career wRC+ of 71. Given more exposure in a platoon with Chavez (the only lefthanded hitter in the mix), he might falter.
Let's check it out from a platoon perspective though since Nix/Scutaro/Wigginton would presumably only play against lefties since Chavez would be playing against righties.
Nix vs. LHP
Career- .239/.305/.439, .322 wOBA, 93 WRC+
2012 (53 PAs)- .275/.302/.451, .323 wOBA, 99 wRC+
Scutaro vs. LHP
Career- .261/.340/.392, .324 wOBA, 95 wRC+
2012 (115 PAs)- .257/.307/.324, .280 wOBA, 66 wRC+
Wigginton vs. LHP
Career- .270/.352/.458, .350 wOBA, 112 wRC+
2012 (93 PAs)- .208/.333/.416, .325 wOBA, 102 wRC+
Now it gets more interesting. Despite the low batting average, Wigginton has been slightly better than Nix against lefties in 2012, and substantially better throughout his career. Scutaro's numbers are horrid, so I don't think he's worth pursuing, especially since he hasn't played the position since the Bush administration.
If the Yankees can pry Wigginton from the Phillies for not much, he might be a better option than Nix even though he's not good in the field. Nix has never played very well as a regular, while Wigginton has had some success. It would not be the first time the Yankees acquired a poor fielder for his platoon splits (see: Ibanez, Raul). Considering the starting role would probably only be for about a month and a half, it's certainly not a move they need to make, but it's a viable option.