ARLINGTON — I sure picked a fine day to travel.
While en route to Texas yesterday — via Houston,by the way — Trader Jack did it again, pulling off another multi-player trade — this time a seven-player swap with the Pirates, and followed that up with a minor deal involving major disappointment Wladimir Balentien.
So much for throwing in the towel following the four-game skid that some thought would make GM Jack Zduriencik a “seller” leading up to Friday’s non-waiver Trade Deadline.
My mind might change if Jarrod Washburn is traded in the next 36 hours, but my gut feeling is that Wash will stay and eventually sign a contract extension.
I have never seen Jack Wilson play shortstop in person, but I have seen some of his defensive brilliance on MLB Network and SportsCenter wrapup shows. The dude is good with a glove, so I decided to visit former Mariners shortstop Omar Vizquel at Rangers Ballpark in Arlington last night after the Rangers played the Tigers and ask him about Wilson.
“He’s a great shortstop,” Vizquel told me. “I think he’s one of the best shortstops in the game right now. I love the way he plays. Every routine play that can be made he makes, and he also can make some pretty awesome plays. He’s fast and can turn double plays. They (Mariners) got a good one.”
That is quite a compliment coming from the guy I consider to be the best defensive SS that I’ve seen in almost 40 years covering Major League baseball.
Wilson makes his Mariners debut tonight against the Rangers in the opener of an important four-game series and it will be fun watching him in action. But the real fun starts next week, when third baseman Adrian Beltre comes off the 15-day disabled list.
To get a ball through the left side of the infield will be a challenge for any hitter.
— Jim Street