Simon blocking Wilson's path

Craig Wilson deserves a better fate in life than to be stacked behind the likes of Randall Simon.

Updated: February 16, 2004, 8:52 AM ET
By Jim Baker | MLB Insider
The Pirates have made a couple of bold moves over the last couple of years in cutting loose underproductive corner players. They let Derek Bell sail off into the sunset (literally) after the 2001 season and cut loose Kevin Young in the middle of last year. Continuing with that theme, they traded Randall Simon to the Cubs in mid-season of 2003 as well. Why, then, would they want Simon back in the fold? Joe Rutter of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reports that the two sides have reached an agreement but the deal will not be announced officially until Simon has passed a physical.

The Pirates have landed themselves -- for the second year in a row -- a first baseman with very little power and an infamous disregard for plate discipline. He set a career high last year with just 14 unintentional walks. On the outfield front, the Pirates announced the signing of Raul Mondesi on Saturday. Orlando Merced was also inked to a minor league contract on the same day. Surely in this great land of ours -- or in the great land of someone else -- there is a cheaper, more productive alternative than Simon. Rutter writes that Craig Wilson's playing time will suffer as a result and the question is "why?"

Let's look at an OPS figure:
Player A: .790
Player B: .798

Jim Baker is an author at Baseball Prospectus and a frequent contributor to Page 2. You can e-mail Jim at