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Via ESPN.com:

Hoping for more offensive production from their infield, the Houston Astros acquired Ty Wigginton from the Tampa Bay Devil Rays on Saturday for relief pitcher Dan Wheeler.

Wigginton was hitting .275 with 16 homers and 49 RBIs in 98 games this season. Last year, he had a career-high 24 homers and 79 RBIs.

Just yesterday, George King wrote in the New York Post that the Yanks appeared on the verge of acquiring Wigginton in exchange for Scott Proctor, whom the Devils Rays were reportedly interested in converting to a starter. We can only assume therefore that the Yankees had second thoughts about parting with Proctor, or the D-Rays valued Wheeler more highly. Either way, Ty Wigginton is headed to Houston, and apparently will man third base “for the next several seasons,” according to Astros GM Tim Purpura. Given that statement, it would appear Morgan Ensberg‘s days in Houston are numbered.

Moreover, the deal could signal the imminent departure of Mark Loretta. With Ensberg hitting just .232 this season, Loretta had seen increased time at third. Wigginton’s arrival would seemingly make the already expendable Loretta even more so.

On Monday, we told you that the Mets were interested in Loretta as an option at 2nd base and in the No. 2 slot in the order, however the team certainly isn’t desperate given the strong play of Ruben Gotay. Still Loretta would be a reliable veteran presence should Gotay struggle down the stretch. Yesterday, ESPN’s Jayson Stark reported that both the Mets and Padres remain interested in Loretta, but most likely not at the price Houston is asking. According to Stark, the Astros are looking for a deal similar to the “three-prospects-for-one-rent-a-player” deal that the Brewers swung for San Diego reliever Scott Linebrink. The Phillies had also been rumored to be interested in Loretta in the wake of Chase Utley‘s broken hand, but apparently turned off my Houston’s asking price, acquired Tadahito Iguchi from the White Sox instead.

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