Pittsburgh Pirates Roundtable – Should Jack Wilson be traded?

Question:
If the Pirates have the opportunity to trade Jack Wilson for a quality prospect or two, should they pull the trigger? Would you be willing to see a repeat of our early season shortstop issues if it meant the team would improve a year or two down the road?

Mike from Hyzdu Headquarters
As bad as the shortstops were early this season and as valulable as Jack Wilson appeared due to it, I would be willing to move him for some prospects. I’d do it with some caution, as I would want to max out his value, due to his value to the Pirates. So it might be hard to find that value, but I would not really consider it if we could not get something that could one day equal his value.
At this point the Pirates just need to accumulate as much talent as possible. The entire organization is in disarray. Anyone could be moved so that we can build talent, then we can worry about the 25 man roster or even who will play shortstop. Moving Jack Wilson would be a tough decision, but one that from a baseball standpoint, we may be forced to make.
Brian McElhinny from Raise the Jolly Roger!
The unfortunate answer is yes. Although it will be extremely painful to suffer through the rest of this year with Bixler/Gomez/Rivas at short, this year is not why we’d be making this trade. If we can get any type of legit prospects for Jack (like we’re hearing from the Dodgers), Huntington needs to pull the trigger, and I think he will. I love Jack, but he’s not the long term answer, and if we can get more than he’s worth, it’s a deal.
Andy Smith from Bugs and Cranks
Yes, on both fronts, but with some clarifications. I hope what Jack Wilson’s absence earlier this season proved to Neal Huntington, other than that the organization is woefully thin at shortstop, is how good #2 really is. To me, the key word in the first question, is quality. If a team like the Dodgers offers premium talent, then a deal has to be made. However, Wilson isn’t the type of player that should be shuffled for spare parts in the name of “rebuilding.” The Pirates are in fifth place right now. Tom Gorzelanny is in the minors. Matt Capps is on the DL. Even a month or so ago, when the team was challenging for .500 and in sniffing distance of a wild card, I thought moving some of their better players for young prospects was the right move, and I’m even more steadfast in that opinion right now.
Steeltown Mike from Steeltown Sports
You do indeed pull the trigger if the prospects are quality. That would go for any player, not just Wilson, whose stock is above average. I’m not sure how much Neal Huntington will have to do with it, though. He may have a couple of trades already forming, but will get a veto from owner Bob Nutting…a veto we probably would never actually know about (but we would suspect).
Regardless, Huntington will have to walk that very thin line…overasking for any given player just a touch, so that a team’s counteroffer will be more than acceptable. If the counteroffer is not satisfactory, he has to be willing to walk away.
This was the brick wall that Dave Littlefield repeatedly rammed his head into. He would ask way too much for an underachieving player, he would be laughed at, and then he would be offered peanuts for the same player. Littlefield would then pull the trigger instead of telling the other team to shove off.
Most of us have suspected that the Pirates wouldn’t finish with a .500 record. I mean, a definition of fanaticism is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Walking away from a trade option that doesn’t benefit the Pirates long-term is something different, and it will make ballclubs begin to take Pirate upper management a little more seriously.
You know that when “Littlefield” would show up on other GM’s caller IDs after awhile, that other GM would chuckle a little before he answered the call.
If he answered the call.
Jesse from Raise the Jolly Roger!
Yes, I absolutely would. If we can get anything good for him I would pull the trigger. Chris Gomez could possibly play shortstop and he is doing well. I hope we can get rid of him while he still has value.
Dave from Bucs Trade Winds
As a fan I would not want to trade Jack Wilson. As a GM, I would trade him with an eye towards getting a middle infield prospect and pitching in this deal or one of the other deals before the deadline. For all the drafting of arms the previous regime did, there is very little in the cupboard to show for it. It is quite obvious pitching is what has been lacking this season. While Jack has been one of the faces of the Pirates, along with Bay, the team needs to get something from these players before they are lost with no known returns. The reason I say no known returns is the draft is a crap shoot, if you get prospects that are known talents you don’t take as large of a risk of a player not developing to the perceived potential.
I still believe Bixler will be a good quality shortstop in the majors, he just isn’t ready yet. His call up early in the year was ugly. Bixler did start to perform better with the glove prior to Wilson returning and his bat is much better than he showed while with the Pirates. I could see Bixler being in Pittsburgh next season, hopefully he would be ready by then. Until that point, I would take the shortstop play we saw early in the season IF it means good return in trade.

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6 Responses to “Pittsburgh Pirates Roundtable – Should Jack Wilson be traded?”

  1. gobucs13 Says:

    Man, you guys think trade . . trade . . trade . . is the answer to everything. I’m still waiting for Ron Wright to lead the NL in homeruns!!
    You CANNOT trade just to trade: especially Jack Wilson. Did you guys watch the first 8 weeks of the season?!? Gomez has NO range, Rivas has no arm from short, plus NO jump on the ball, and Bixler was catatonic both in the field and pinchrunning from 3rd. We lost 3-4 games just because Wilson was not at short defensively. A 4-game swing puts us over .500!
    Jack Wilson turns the double play, he has the best, nay, only relay arm from the outfield, and he makes the whole infield better!! As lousy as our pitching has been, the only hope for turning it around in the 2nd Half is to get those double plays and close plays. Wilson takes earned runs off pitchers’ records by getting those extra outs. And he hits 80 points higher than Freddie, the supposed offensive threat in the infield.
    No one is untouchable {well, I wouldn’t trade Doumit} but to trade a shortstop without an adequate replacement is crazy. Remember, Bixler was rated higher than Hu last year, and when he came up, he turned into a cigar store Indian at short and at the plate. If Hu was so good, the Dodgers would have just brought him up, even before he messed up his eye.
    Look how lousy the Indians are this year with no-range Peralta at short.
    Jack is even signed for next year at a reasonable number, with an option for ’10. He is threatening to retire after ’09, you say? When was the last time a major league ballplayer walked away from the sport in the prime of his career, especially if/when we start winning?!? Go ahead: name him!
    If a blockbuster deal comes along——say, a starting pitcher in AAA with double figure wins AND ERA in the 3’s AND more K’s than innings, plus a AAA/AA shortstop that just missed the All Star game plus a AA/A fireballing reliever——then I would consider dealing Jack Wilson. 3 for 1. Otherwise, trade someone else. We have NO adequate major league replacement!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    I saw Ron Wright in spring training: he could hit the ball A MILE!! I still have one of his homerun balls. Brad Eldred could hit the ball a mile too . . . . in the minors!! I’m still waiting for those two to lead the NL in homeruns for the Bucs!! Bixler made the AAA All Star game tonight, and we saw what he is like in the majors. Trading for “prospects” is scary!!
    Trade Bautista for prospects! Trade Sanchez for prospects!
    Trade LaRoche for prospects! Trade Paulino for prospects! Heck, trade Huntington for prospects!! But, unless we’re getting Bob Gibson back in return, leave Jack Wilson at short for the Buccos!! We have NO ADEQUATE REPLACEMENT!!! You CANNOT be a winning Major League team without an outstanding, consistent shortstop!!
    GOBUCS13

  2. Deaner Says:

    Great roundtable discussion. I don’t think that the Pirates would get anything near Jack Wilson’s value out of a trade. Wilson’s defense and field/clubhouse presense as the most-tenured member of the Pirates can’t be matched. I’ve very biased here because Jack has been one of my favorite Buccos ever since he came up with the team (wearing #12), but I think gobucs13 makes some good points.

  3. RICH Says:

    I don’t like the prospect of trading Jack Wilson. Bad move. Who will anchor the infield? Rivas, Sanchez, Gomez? Forget it. Jack needs to stay at least through this season. The Pirates shouldn’t feel forced to trade anyone.

  4. Matt Bandi Says:

    The Pirates shouldn’t feel forced to trade Jack. But if the right deal is on the table, they have to pull the trigger.
    Jack Wilson will definitely help the team’s chances of reaching .500 in the next couple of years, but he will be gone the next time the Pirates compete for a championship. That point in the future is what the front office should focus on.
    Jack has been my favorite player since he joined the team, and I would hate to see him go. But it’s been 15 years…

  5. BIllG Says:

    Matt…just saw this piece. Agreed it’s been 15 years. But who plays SS?? The best one was shipped to atlanta. Lillibridge is a true SS prospect unlike Bixler. Bixler may be Luis Rivas next year, but that’s probably it. By trading Wilson, better have a SS in mind…just remember what it was like this year when he was out. OMT, why are so many MLB teams looking for SS’s?? Used to be a dearth of 3b’s, now it’s at short. Better tread lightly when jettisoning Jack Flash.

  6. Kale Says:

    I THINK JACK WILSON IS A GREAT GUY, I DID GET TO MEET HIMAT A GAME, GET HIS AUTOGRAPH, AND A PICTURE WITH HIM. HE IS GREAT AT DEFENSE, OK AT OFFENSE, BUT HE IS MAINLY THERE FOR DEFENSE, I WOULD LIKE TO SEE HIM STAY IN PITTSBURGH AND END HIS CAREER THERE IN A FEW YEARS WHEN HE IS READY.
    WILSON AND SANCHEZ HAVE TURNED THE MOST DOUBLE PLAYS IN THE NATIONAL LEAGUE SO FAR THIS SEASON, AND JACK IS GOOD A THAT, THOSE 2 EVEN GREW UP TOGETHER, WHY SEPERATE THEM THEY MAKE AGOOD TEAM…NEAL HUNINGTON WOULD BE MAKING A VERY POOR DECISION IF WILSON IS TRADED
    I SAY KEEP JACK IN THE STEEL CITY IN 2009 AND UNTIL JACK DECIDES TO RETIRE
    KEEP JACK IN THE BURGH 2009


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