Pirates Look to Future, Without Wilson

The Mad HatterContributor IJuly 25, 2009

PITTSBURGH - APRIL 13:  Jack Wilson #2 of the Pittsburgh Pirates swings at the pitch during the Opening Day game against the Houston Astros at PNC Park on April 13, 2009 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by: Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)

As many who follow Major League Baseball know, the Pittsburgh Pirates are in the midst of a record-breaking season, albeit a record they would rather not break.  Despite the fact that this will be their 17th consecutive losing season, there has been progress made toward the future.  Much of this progress has come through unpopular trades of "star" players for what is perceived to be little return.  Fans have been rightfully angry at the organization, and that is fine.  It is not fine, however, when certain players open their mouths.

...Enter Jack Wilson.  A career .269 hitter, Wilson has recently been quoted in the media as opposing these trades and of being tired of losing throughout his tenure with the Pirates.  Well Jack, you're part of the problem. 

Wilson ranks 12th in the National League in both Home Runs (4) and Average (.267).  Jumpin' Jack Flash has been no more than a mediocre player at best for a pretty awful team.  A team that chose to reward his mediocrity to the tune of $20.2M over 3 years.

As I and many others in the Pirates front office will soon see, Wilson is not a key component for this or future Pirate teams.  His defense, although good, does not win many games and can be replaced.  His batting numbers fall in the bottom half of the league and one has to think, could easily be mirrored by a younger, cheaper player from within the system who would benefit from added playing time.

Wilson should continue throughout the rest of this season quietly accepting his salary that he is grossly undeserving of and enjoy his time on the diamond because once this contract runs out his future role is likely nothing more than a late inning defensive replacement.  But then, that's essentially all he's ever played like.