With most of the interesting Tacoma Rainiers hanging their hat in Seattle these days, the Mariners bench consists of mostly guys who, well, don’t have much of a place on the roster anymore.
Chone Figgins, Jack Cust, Jack Wilson, and Chris Giminez are all veterans, and none of them have performed well this year. So when Dustin Ackley was called up, and it was suggested that the Mariners should trade Jack Wilson, it may have seemed unlikely, and that he had absolutely no value league wide.
That may not be true though.
Though Wilson has played mostly second base this season, his natural position is shortstop. He hasn’t been great there defensively in the past couple of years, but injuries could be to blame, and his history suggests he’s one of the better defensive players at the position.
He doesn’t have much of a bat, though his history in the National League was much more productive than his time with the Mariners at the plate.
Wilson is old, makes a lot of money considering his profile, and has been very injury prone in the past couple of years. There are typically a variety of glove-first and glove-only shortstops available for next to free at pretty much any time.
The Mariners may end up being forced to cut him if they end up calling up any more prospects at the expense of their position players.
Why would the Mariners keep Wilson, and not cut him?
It’s not like Wilson is an incredible player, and he’s shown some negative attitude this year after muffing two balls that eventually lost a game for Felix Hernandez. But the real question is, who is going to take Wilson’s place?
Wilson has survived the additions of Mike Carp, Carlos Peguero (twice), Greg Halman, Franklin Gutierrez, Mike Wilson, and Ackley. Guys like Alex Liddi, Kyle Seager, and Matt Tuiasosopo may get call ups this season, but chances are that barring injury, they’ll all stay down until September. That said, Wilson offers the Mariners depth at two infield positons, and could pretty conceivably play third base also.
Who would be interested in Wilson?
Almost certainly, any team looking to trade for Wilson would view him as a shortstop, and would have a significant defensive issue at the position. The Giants, for example, have started Miguel Tejada at shortstop too many times this season.
Oddly enough though, most of those teams play in the National League Central, Wilson’s former stomping grounds.
Paul Janish and Edgar Renteria have played awful defense for Cincinnati.
Ryan Theriot has played really bad defense at short for the Cardinals, who may need to look to save some runs instead of scoring a ton of them now that Albert Pujols is hurt.
Most intriguing though, are the Milwaukee Brewers, who are presently running Yuniesky Betancourt out at shortstop, and whose farm system Zduriencik surely knowns deeply.
What could the Mariners get for Wilson?
Chaz Roe. Just kidding, Roe is already a Tacoma Rainier, by way of the Jose Lopez trade. But seriously, a throw-in, another bullet in the game of live-bat, live-arm Russian roulette that Zduriencik seems to be playing throughout the farm system.