Yesterday, the Braves signed Craig Wilson to a one-year, $2 million deal. This move is so good, I don’t even know how John Schuerholz pulled it off without some other team swooping in with a better offer.
Wilson is coming off the worst season of his career in which he was still pretty close to league average, and some of his decline may have been a side-effect of his mid-season trade to the Yankees. His career line of .265/.354/.480/.834, along with his ability to play the outfield or first, ought to have brought many suitors. I estimate that the dollar value of his play in 2006 was $3.6 million.
Schuerholz has indicated that Wilson will split time in the outfield, at first, and hitting off the bench. With Langerhans and Diaz in left, Andruw in center, and Francoeur in right, there doesn’t seem to be much room in the outfield. With the lefty Thorman manning first, it would make a good platoon; though, I’d prefer Wilson to play there full time. As long as he gets off to a good start, I think he’ll win the job outright. I just don’t see any alternate talent that could keep his bat on the bench.
How did the Braves pull this off? I suspect that Wilson really wants to play for Bobby Cox and the Braves. But, I really don’t care how it happened. I’m just glad it did happen.