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Burnitz, Wilson sign, Craig Wilson available?

Preston Wilson is Houston Astro, and one with a crazy deal:

Wilson gets $4 million this year. Under the unusual deal, the Astros must decide at the end of the season whether to exercise a $24 million, three-year option that carries a $500,000 buyout.

I cannot for the life of me imagine a scenario under which the Astros would exercise that option on a mediocre then-32-year-old outfielder.  But for one year, not such a bad deal, especially since it gives the 'Stros the flexibility to deal Willy Tavares.

Also new in the NL Central, Jeromy Burnitz is a Pirate.  As a commentor says over at Bucs Dugout: "$13.45 million spent on Burnitz, Hernandez, and Randa. That's a Bonifay-esque level of performance by [Dave Littlefield]."  My feelings exactly.  

The good news--besides a division "rival" having done something stupid--is that Craig Wilson may actually go to a team that appreciates him.  Lloyd McClendon buried him when he first came up, but he mashed in a full season in 2004.  I have no idea whether the Pirates plan to trade him, or if so, what it would take to pry him away, but consider what Wilson offers:

  • A righty to spell Fielder at first base
  • A backup catcher to make Chad Moeller expendable
  • Geoff Jenkins insurance
  • A Carlos Lee replacement the second that some contender feels the need to deal for Caballo.
I'll bet that if Ned Yost took full advantage of Wilson's abilities, he could start 120 games, and he'd be a solid righty off the bench the rest of the team.  

Yes, I know I'm fantasizing here, but if the Pirates value Craig Wilson as little as they appear to with the Burnitz signing, I say Justin Lehr and a B- prospect are on the table.