WASHINGTON Talk about the possibility of Jack Wilson being traded to the Mariners has died down.
I never sensed great enthusiasm for the deal a straight-up swap of Wilson for Yuniesky Betancourt among the Pirates’ end. Geoff Baker, the Seattle Times beat writer who first blogged about the proposed trade, today wrote the Pirates backed away because Betancourt’s price tag (a total of $9 million from now until 2011 with a $6 million option/$2 million buyout in 2012) is too high.
Baker seemed stunned the Pirates would hesitate to invest $11 million to $15 million for a 27-year-old shortstop with an OK bat and limited defensive skills. The sour national economy is one reason not to pull the trigger on that trade. Another is the very real possibility that something better will come along.
• The Nats will run out another rookie pitcher tonight against the Pirates. Craig Stammen will be the fourth newbie to start a game for Washington this season (joining Shairon Martis, Jordan Zimmermann and Ross Detwiler). The “veteran” of the Nats’ staff is John Lannan, who’s made 46 career starts. The only other team with so much inexperience on the hill this season is Toronto.
• Stammen is the fifth member of Washington’s 2005 draft class to reach the majors. The Pirates have had one ’05 pick (Steve Pearce, eighth round) play in the bigs. Andrew McCutchen (first round) and Jeff Sues (fifth round) are close.
• Lineups for today’s game:
PIRATES 1.Nyjer Morgan lf, 2. Freddy Sanchez 2b, 3. Nate McLouth cf, 4. Adam LaRoche 1b, 5. Brandon Moss rf, 6. Andy LaRoche 3b, 7. Jason Jaramillo c, 8. Jack Wilson ss, 9. Ian Snell (1-5, 4.93) rhp
NATIONALS 1. Cristian Guzman ss, 2. Nick Johnson 1b, Ryan Zimmerman 3b, 4. Adam Dunn lf, 5. Josh Willingham lf, 6. Willie Harris cf, 7. Josh Bard c, 8. Anderson Hernandez 2b, 9. Craig Stammen (major league debut) rhp