Rumor: Paul Wilson, 3 years?Clearly, the Nats are shopping for pitching. There's an offhand comment in the most recent Peter Gammons column indicating that Bowden is considering going to three years on Paul Wilson. His 2004 salary was $3.5M, and he had a better year in 2004 than he ever has in a full season, so it seems likely that we're going to give him 3 years and $12-15M.
Wilson, a righty, will be 32 next year. His ERA last year was 4.36, with 5.73 K/9, but 1.86 K/BB and a 1.39 WHIP. Last year, opponents hit .271 off of him, with a .330 OBP. His fast ball (sinker) doesn't reach 90, and his other major pitch is an average changeup. He's effective when he can keep his fastball down, and he's not otherwise. Last year, 16 of his 29 games were quality starts. His bad games and good games were grouped together. His biggest stinker came on August 13, against San Diego, where he gave up 7 runs on 8 hits in 1.1+ innings, with 2 HR.
This guy is pretty unimpressive overall. The best teams wouldn't want him as a 5th starter, and he would rank no better than 4th on most teams, which is about where he would be for us, if all our pitching is healthy. He's definitely in the bottom third of the free agent crop. I think more than a one year deal is a bad deal, even if he ends up a reasonable bargain in terms of dollars.
In other news, Montreal sports writers have named Brad Wilkerson the team's player of the year for 2004. The boggling thing is that, of the 10 ballots, 2 listed Tony Batista as the team MVP. I guess the Montreal sports writers didn't go to games either.
Also, if you haven't seen yet, Linda Cropp has made another proposal that nobody likes, that there should be a fixed cap on spending.
Plus, the Nats took in almost 15,000 season ticket deposits in the first week, just for full-season packages. Tavares' projections based on these sales are for an average of 30,000 fans a game, which works out to a whopping 2.43M fans in the seats over the course of the year. This year will certainly be the first one where DC fields a MLB team that puts a million fans in the seats.