Emmerson Boyce has signed a four-year deal with Wigan for an initial £1m.
Boyce rejected a new contract with Crystal Palace
Crystal Palace will receive a further £200,000 depending on how many appearances the 27-year-old makes.
"He is a player who loves to defend and the Wigan fans will take to him because he is totally committed," said Latics manager Paul Jewell.
Boyce can play anywhere across the back four, but his arrival will add to speculation that right-back Pascal Chimbonda is set to leave Wigan.
Chimbonda, who stunned Wigan when he put in a transfer request after the final game of last season, has recently been linked with a move to Tottenham.
Jewell has confirmed he turned down a cash-plus-players offer from Spurs and is holding out for the £6m valuation the Latics have put on the Frenchman, who is back in training.
He is very quick, very strong in the tackle and has proved he can perform at Premiership level
Paul Jewell on Emerson Boyce
"Pascal has come back and his agent was in my office when I spoke with Spurs and said we wanted the full £6m for Chimbonda, " he told the Manchester Evening News.
"Spurs offered a couple of players. We could not reach a deal and if we do not get the full amount the player stays where he is. We still think it is a very fair valuation.
"Don't forget not many clubs were keen to take a chance on him this time last year."
Boyce is Jewell's sixth new signing of the summer, joining Emile Heskey, Chris Kirkland, Denny Landzaat, Fitz Hall and youngster Tomasz Cywka.
"I think he is going to fit in very well at Wigan," Jewell added.
"He is very quick, very strong in the tackle and has proved he can perform at Premiership level."