While it may not look so good in retrospect, the Mariners had the right idea when they signed Jack Wilson to a 2 year, 10 million dollar deal this winter. The 2010 club option attached to his previous contract was too pricey, and re-signing him for a couple of years on a reasonable deal was really the team’s best chance to hold down shortstop. However, it’s easy to see now that it hasn’t really worked out for the Mariners. He’s missed roughly half of the season with injuries, while posting a -0.1 WAR and .262 wOBA in limited plate appearances.
As much as I like Jack Wilson, and I really do, there’s just no way you can count on him as your starting shortstop heading into the 2011 season. At age 32, the potential for a ~2 WAR player is still there, but his body just can’t keep up – he’s only played in 254 games since the beginning of 2008. Since it’s unlikely that the M’s will be able to move him, they’ll probably have to go with a similar shortstop situation next year, with him and someone like Josh Wilson splitting time, which is fine. It isn’t likely that they’ll be contending, anyway.
It is, however, probably time to accept the fact that Jack Wilson probably won’t be a part of the next Seattle Mariners team that contends. It’s no one’s fault – the logic was sound at the time, but it just turned out to be one more intelligent risk that didn’t work out. Fortunately, Nick Franklin still has an .846 OPS down in Clinton, and the 2012 free agent class sports multiple solid shortstops.