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The Pirates Ruin Things For Everyone

DeJan Kovacheck of the Pittsburgh Post Gazzette is reporting that Jack Wilson is likely staying put, and as much as it might surprise you, this is actually kind of depressing. If Pittsburgh was asking for the players Kovacheck talks about: James McDonald and Chin-Lung Hu, then it's not something I would be happy about, but the idea behind trading for Jack Wilson isn't a bad one.

At this point, I'm going to consider any further appearances by Rafael Furcal a happy coincidence, and I don't think management is going to be too enthusiastic about bringing back Chin-Lung Hu for an extended period of time. I have Friday for the Nomar Garciaparra death pool, so I don't see him lasting, and even if he did, his bat is barely playable as a middle infielder and combining him with Jeff Kent might make the worst middle infield in recent memory. All that's left after that are Angel Berroa and Luis Maza. This is unacceptable for a team that has managed to stumble backwards into contention. Neither of the Berroa/Maza tandem deserve to be on the bench of a major league team, let alone starting on a contenting one.

We need to find a new shortstop, and Jack Wilson probably is the best one available. He's not a complete offensive disaster, an upgrade over what we have out there now, and he's one of the better defensive shortstops in baseball, ranking 5th in +/- over the last three years. Wilson is a decent baseball player, and while I'm generally opposed to getting "decent" guys, it looks appealing when you're starting Nomar at short.

Not only would Wilson help the team this year, but he could really help this offseason. If Furcal bolts, or we don't want to commit to a guy that's given us five good months in the last three years, the Dodgers are left without a middle infield. Since I can't see a situation where we start two of Hu, Blake DeWitt, Tony Abreu, or Ivan DeJesus next year, the Dodgers will be pretty much forced to throw large sacks of money at Orlando Hudson or Mark Ellis, and while I like those guys, I don't really want them around when they're 36 or 37. Jack Wilson would give us the option to bow out of those talks. Yeah, we'll be worse off with Wilson than with Hudson or Ellis in 2009, but he buys us another year of development for an internal solution or lets us try to get Brian Roberts.

Really, the problem here is with the Pirates. Holding onto Jack Wilson makes absolutely no sense. Jack Wilson will never be part of a winning team, and holding on to him for the Pirates yearly run at .500 really doesn't help. A team that has very little real assets on the farm and a bad major league club needs to sell off everything they have so they can start rebuilding. If the Pirates can't leverage Wilson's hot start into anything but more Jack Wilson, it's time to toss GM Neil Huntington into the bad GM tournament.

The Dodgers desperately need a shortstop, and Wilson was the best one we were going to get. Now it's time for us to get a little more scrappy and make a play for David Eckstein. Sadly, I'm 100% serious about that.


Milton Bradley is blogging for the New York Times about his All Star expiriences.