Saturday, July 05, 2008

The Jack rumors begin anew

You probably could've seen this one coming from a mile or two away, but with Rafael Furcal out for the next eight weeks with back surgery, the Dodgers are in the market for a new shortstop. They're under .500 but only 1/2 game behind the Rockies in the this year's crappy division, the NL West. By way of the PG, Ken Rosenthal (who's in full-on trade-season robot-mode) mentions that the Dodgers may be interested in getting someone other than the corpse of Nomar Garciaparra to play short while Furcal is out. These are pretty preliminary talks because all Rosenthal can tell us is that the Pirates are interested in the same players the Indians are asking for in early C.C. Sabathia talks. Rosental mentions James McDonald, Chin-Lung Hu, and Andy LaRoche all as potential targets for the Tribe and thus, presumable the Pirates as well.

There's no point in speculating on those names being tossed around at this early point, but there is a more relevant question that will be brought up here. The question is, of course, "Should the Pirates trade Jack Wilson." There are a lot of people that will say that the answer is "no" given the team's early season struggles to fill the shortstop position without him. That's not the right answer.

Wilson's a nice shortstop. He's not a great hitter (even with his .319 average, his OPS+ is under 100 right now), but he's got an above average glove and he probably won't kill you for having him out there. That's all Wilson is. The Pirates organization is mostly in disarray from the Littlefield era. Anytime you can take a decent player like Jack Wilson and turn him into two or three young players that might be better than decent (and McDonald, LaRoche, and Hu all fall into that category), you have to do it. The Pirates might be hovering around .500 this year, but they aren't close to contending because they don't have a long-term core in place. That makes every single person on the team in Pittsburgh this year trade bait, no matter how ugly the team would look this year without them.