Newly Acquired Wilson Provides Tribe With Utility Depth at Triple-A
Bob Toth | On 03, Jun 2017
The Cleveland Indians made a minor trade earlier in the week, picking up veteran infielder Josh Wilson for cash considerations from the Texas Rangers.
Wilson, 36, had signed with the Rangers organization midway through April and had been playing for Texas’ Triple-A Round Rock affiliate.
A veteran of parts of eight Major League seasons, Wilson gives the Indians a tested player with 431 games of big league experience at all four infield positions. He has also spent a handful of innings in both outfield corners during the minor league portion of his career, with his last games there coming in 2015 while with Detroit’s Triple-A Toledo affiliate.
He may serve a role similar to that held by Michael Martinez over the last few years in Columbus, giving the Indians a middle infield option at the upper levels of the farm system in the event of an emergency. Martinez was designated for assignment on May 14 and traded to the Tampa Bay Rays for cash.
The Clippers were thin up the middle after Ronny Rodriguez exited Wednesday’s game with an oblique injury. He was placed on the disabled list the next day. Eric Stamets, who has bounced back and forth between Columbus and Double-A Akron this season, has also been slowed by a lower back injury. Todd Hankins was called up from Akron a week and a half ago to help out in the infield, where third base is being manned by Yandy Diaz and the Clippers normal third baseman, Giovanny Urshela, has been playing shortstop for much of the last week and has picked up games at the position sporadically throughout the season.
Wilson has been in the pro game since 1999 after being selected in the third round of the amateur draft by the Florida Marlins out of high school. He worked his way through their farm system and cracked the Major League lineup for the first time in 2005, appearing in eleven games for the club. He was traded following that season to the Colorado Rockies and spent the year at the Triple-A level before becoming a free agent and signing with the Washington Nationals. He was with the club into early May when he was claimed off of waivers by the Tampa Bay Devil Rays, who lost him on waivers to Pittsburgh in December of 2007.
He spent 2008 with the Pirates at the Triple-A level before heading to the Red Sox’s Triple-A club as part of the three-team Manny Ramirez trade with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He would split time between Triple-A and the Majors in 2009, appearing in big league action with the Arizona Diamondbacks, San Diego Padres, and Seattle Mariners.
His longest stay in the Majors came in the Pacific Northwest, playing with the Mariners in 108 games in 2010. But he was on the move again as a spring training roster cut prior to the 2011 season, leading to time spent back with the Diamondbacks and, later in the year, with the Milwaukee Brewers. He would return to the D’Backs for a third stint in the organization in 2013 and appeared in 30 games at the MLB level before spending 2014 with the Rangers and their farm system
His last Major League games came in 2015, when he played with Detroit in 21 games and hit .316 in limited action while also seeing time at Triple-A Toledo.
Last year, he was out of the professional game but appeared in 120 games for York of the independent Atlantic League, hitting .255.
He was on the lineup card 22 times for Round Rock this season, hitting .329 with four doubles, four homers, and 16 RBI at the time of his trade to Cleveland. He made his Clippers debut on Thursday, working three innings at second base, and started at shortstop on Friday.
Photo: David Banks/Getty Images