Monday, November 16, 2009

Mariners Re-Sign Jack Wilson

Late last week, the Mariners resigned shortstop Jack Wilson to a two-year, $10M contract, one that will keep him as their everyday shortstop through 2011. Certainly, Mariner fans should be happy after watching the disaster that was Yuniesky Betancourt, and even if Wilson can't continue his pattern of having a good offensive season every three years (2004, 2007.. 2010?), his defense alone should make this a solid deal for Seattle.

Although Wilson has posted a very weak .263/.301/.355 line in the past two seasons, while playing primarily in the weaker league, he's also been arguably the best defensive shortstop in the game, posting UZR/150's of 16.7 in 2008 and 20.4 in 2009, and he won the 2009 Fielding Bible award as the best defensive shortstop in the game.

Certainly, it will be tough for him to be anything other than the #9 hitter in their batting order, but his lack of offensive value is tolerable given his defensive prowess, especially for a reasonable salary like $5M per season. According to FanGraphs, he's been worth $15.6M over the past two seasons in spite of his offensive performance, and while he certainly wouldn't garner that kind of money on the open market, and it's questionable to trust the calculations used by UZR, WAR and FanGraphs, he's clearly a solid investment for a team that greatly values defense.

1 comment:

  1. Not to mention, according to Runs Saved, Wilson led all shortstops, with 27 this year, 8 over Redbird Brendan Ryan. As you say, his defense is worth that alone. In addition, from 2007-2009, Wilson leads ALL players in RS with 51. That's worth $10 million alone. I'm a big fan of Jack Z, and moves like this one are exactly why.

    It's my belief that Runs Saved (or RS) is much better than UZR [/150]. Nothing against you, but for better reading, I'd include it. Nobody has questioned the validity of the stat, which I really do with every other stat. To an extent, I even do so with +/- (if you have a good, K heavy pitching staff, or you were called up late to avoid Super 2 status, the stat is unfairly negative towards you).

    Keep up the good work, Satch. Again, if you need a fellow writer, I'm here.