Baseball Toaster Bad Altitude
O Preston, My Preston
2005-05-10 14:33
by Mark T.R. Donohue

This morning's post made reference to this Denver Post article intimating that the franchise formerly known as the Expos might be interested in acquiring Colorado centerfielder/strikeout specialist Preston Wilson, assuming that the Rockies would be willing to continue paying the remainder of Wilson's $12 million salary. Further sleuthing has not corroborated the report.'s Truth & Rumors and ESPN's Rumor Central (subscription required) merely echo the Post story.

Neither of the Washingon dailies evidence the Nationals' apparent interest in Wilson. They do however track the descent of Zach Day, the righthander whom the Post's Troy Renck mentions as a prime candidate to be included in a Wilson deal. Let me get one thing clear right now: the Rockies do not want Zach Day. While he is a groundball pitcher with a good track record as far as allowing home runs is concerned, Day does not strike guys out, and pitching to contact in Coors Field is a recipe for disaster. He's benefited in the past from Olympic Stadium's turf and good defenders behind him. Regardless of what you think of Clint Barmes and Aaron Miles up the middle, what were easy grounders in Montreal are going to be low screamers in Denver. Day's mysterious feud with Frank Robinson doesn't improve his profile any, either.

Looking through the Nationals' farm system, the top guys, like Mike Hinckley, Larry Broadway, and Clint Everts, are probably off limits. Ryan Church is already contributing to the big club. There are a few guys lower down in the system, like lefty reliever Bill Bray or righty starter Josh Karp, who are worth a look. It's imperative the Rockies get players with little major league service time, their best years still ahead of them -- overpaying for past performance is what got this franchise into trouble in the first place.

We'll have to keep monitoring the Wilson situation. There's a lot of season to play before the trade deadline, and certainly more teams may show interest in a centerfielder who once hit 36 homers, even if his stats are Coors-boosted, his defense is shaky, and his strikeout totals are Adam Dunn-esque.

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