Finger On The Trigger


We are now at the point were we can all accept the shortstop position. Jack Wilson is now resigned and JJ Hardy is pretty much off the market. Yes, you can scream Aaron Heilman at anyone who will listen but the fact of the matter is that the Twins want him and won’t be giving him up.

The franchise has been dead-set on Jack Wilson as our starting shortstop since July and perhapes even since before the trade. This deal of course  keeps him around for another two years.

I can’t help but wonder what the organizations plan is for the future.

I do have reservations about the future of the franchise and their shortstop options. Lets take a quick look at our currently available options.

I only took into account players younger than 26 and played atleast 25 games at that level. List is in order of their respective progression within the minors.


*bolded are noted prospects.

Oswaldo Navarro, ss – 25 – AAA

Carlos Triunfel, ss – 20 – AA

Juan Diaz, ss – 22 – A+

Jeffrey Dominguez, ss – 23 – A+

Terry Serrano, ss – 22 – A-

Shaver Hansen, ss – 21 – A-

Jetsy Extrano, ss – 21 – A-

Anthony Phillips, – 19 – A (short season)

Nick Franklin, ss – 18 – A (short season)

Ameilis Carvajal, ss – 20 – DSL

Gabriel Noriega, ss – 19 – Rookie Ball

The problem with this list that there is no real top level talent. There is no real internal options that are close to Major League ready.  Any potential short stop talent is sitting at High-A ball or below and believe me between Franklin and Noriega the next few years are going to be fun to watch. However, being in short season and rookie ball there leaves plenty of time for error and morelikely burn out than the possibility of even making AAA despite all their talent.

That makes you turn to our two “top level” options …

Oswaldo Navarro, while he may have some defensive skills his bat is extremely questionable and continues to run into issues with his offense.

Carlos Triunfel, will not play shortstop at a major league level. He will move either to Second base or Third base. He seems from the scouting report to have a good glove just lousy range. Which really makes him a prime candidate for third base, otherwise we may end up with another Jose Lopez-esque player at second base.

With limited to no options within the top level of the minors. The Mariners are seemingly stuck with either hoping to see Juan Diaz develop. Who may possibly have the range and glove to stick at short to develop. The other internal options even less likely is spontanous combustion of Noriega/Franklin growing into the defensive studs we pray for every day that can get by offensively. As I said, doubtful at very best. This leaves the options of acquiring talent via free-agency or trades.

Now I am not saying that we need a Jason Donald, Ian Desmond or Starlin Castro in AAA, but with Josh Wilson and Oswaldo Navarro our only other options at short right now should something happen to Jack Wilson. I like the idea of having someone that can be stored in AAA that has more upside than say a basic utility player.  Wilson does have a recent track record for some health problems and that comes with signing an older player. I think it would be an interesting case if we brought in a buy-low type infielder that could potentially be used at the big league level.

Guys such as Chris Nelson (from Colorado), Chin-Lung Hu (LAD) or a Andy Cannizaro(Chicago) type of players. They have some upside, small in cost and may not have the opportunities in their organizations due to either being undervalued or other prospects pushing from below or stopping them from above.

The Mariners have already shown a propensity for doing this with outfielder/first basemen types Chris SheltonBrad Nelson and Jerry Owens. All of them bring a different value to the table . Middle infielders, while in general are difficult to come by, are still out there. The idea is to understand what value they can bring to your team and how it can be maximized.

There is tons of potential during the next two more years of Jack Wilson’s tour. Great defensive player and awesome teammate.  As I have previously said, I said I’m fine with him on this team. But what about trying to take advantage of acquire a little bit of insurance, that isn’t Josh Wilson.