Friday, July 08, 2005

Hey Mister Wilson!

UPDATE: ESPN says it's off because of Money considerations... Who knows, at this point? If they're that close, I'm sure they'll find a way to make it work.
It's all over but the haggling, apparently.

The Sporting News is reporting that the Washington Nationals have agreed to send Zach Day and his sinker-o-death along with JJ Davis and his superpower of turning groundball singles into doubles to the Colorado Rockies for the latest outfield object of Bowden's lust, Preston Wilson. (Hopefully the Sporting News didn't jump the gun!)

According to the Sporting News, all that's left is haggling over how much of his bloated $12.5 million (yeah, seriously!) contract the team will have to pay. He's a free agent at the end of the year.

My immediate reaction? Shoot me now.

The good news? We won't miss Davis, who showed that whatever crazy numbers he might be able to put up in the minors, he won't be anything more than an injury stop-gap in the majors until he learns how to connect on anything that isn't straight.

The bad news? Everything else.

1) Preston Wilson just isn't that good. If his father weren't named Mookie, he'd be no different than any number of generic outfielders in the league.

You can point to the shiny 36 homers he hit in 2003, but I'll point to Coors Field and his pedestrian .282/ .343/ .537 line.

Last season was a lost season for him. Injuries limited him to just 58 games. And when he played, he didn't do it particularly well, hitting just .248/ .315/ .391 (IN COORS FIELD!)

This season, the supposedly healthy Wilson has improved. But he's only up to .258/ .322/ .488, and that includes his Coors performance.

On the road, he drops to (You might want to sit for this) .224/ .280/ .411. Imagine Cristian Guzman with a little power.

Now you want to move him away from the greatest hitters park and move him to what is probably the most extreme pitchers' park in the league?

Based on his overall performance in this year, it's not particularly clear that he's an offensive upgrade on any of our current non-Byrd outfielders, and that's before you factor in the extreme differences in park!

2) Where'll Mookie-lite play? Gut instinct says left. Ideally he'd platoon with ROY-to-be Ryan Church, but instinct also says he'll be taking over more often than not, dumping Church to fourth outfielder status.

In Boswell's chat, he talked about how Wilkerson wants to move to left, to spare his legs in the second half of the season. If that's the case, Wilson might slide into center.

If he does that, expect our slugging average against to climb as double after triple after double skid to the warning track helplessly.

3) Whither Ryan Church? I guess the .325 batting average or the .381 on-base percentage weren't enough.

I'm not convinced that Ryan Church is going to be a superstar, but he'll be a productive centerfielder for a few years. Now he's getting dicked over because Bodes wanted a 'name' to reel in.

Yet, Church is outproducing Wilson in every facet of the game.

Does this mean that Church is relegated to fourth outfielder/ pinch hitter? Or is this the first piece in a puzzle that ships Soul Patch out of town for someone like Eric Milton? Time, as the cliche goes, will tell.

Or maybe there's something more to his and Nick Johnson's injuries? Time will tell on that too.

4) What about what we gave up? It wasn't much. Davis is junk. Although I like Zach Day, it's clear that Frank will tolerate zero dissent, and, alas, he had to go.

What worries me about this is that we've now given up two pieces of our excellent pitching depth: Day and Ohka. With Jon Rauch on the shelf, we're not too far away from having Ed Yarnall on the starting staff. (Hint: That ain't good!)


It's not that Wilson isn't a useful player. Coming off injuries, he's been pretty poor the last two season, but he still has his uses. If he's a fourth-outfielder, pinch-hitter and occasional platoon partner, it's a good deal. If he's playing centerfield while Wilkerson moves over to left and Church to the bench, it's a bad deal.

I'm not sure that he's really an upgrade over what we have in his place, especially when you factor in that we gave up one of our attractive trading chits.

I've felt, and some others have as well, that the place this team needed to upgrade was its pitching staff. The trade of Day gives us one less asset to use. But it does free up an outfield bat.... Hmmm... Think Bowden's working the phones yet?


IF you're looking for even more analysis, with an emphasis on anal, start here and scroll down as a bunch of wannabe GMs hash it out.


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