Shortstop signs $8 million deal

PITTSBURGH -- Pittsburgh Pirates shortstop Jack Wilson, just
signed to $8 million, two-year contract, expects to be ready for
spring training despite being hospitalized recently for an

Wilson's appendix burst Dec. 21 at his Thousand Oaks, Calif.,
home, requiring a rushed trip to a hospital. He was released
Christmas night.

The 6-foot, 175-pound Wilson has regained six of the 15 pounds
he lost, but is not yet ready to resume heavy weightlifting.

"The one thing that worries me is I am behind," Wilson said
Friday. "This is the time of year when you really start hitting
the weights and start working out hard, and I'm not going to be
able to do that for a few more weeks."

Despite the setback, Wilson is optimistic he will be fully
recovered when spring training starts next month. Wilson flew from
California to Pittsburgh to have a physical on Friday and sign the

Last season, the 27-year-old Wilson became the first Pittsburgh
shortstop in 96 years to get more than 200 hits in a season.
Wilson's 201 hits matched Hall of Famer Honus Wagner's total in

Wilson hit .308 with 11 homers and 59 RBI and won the NL Silver
Slugger award as the league's best offensive shortstop. He was the
only Pirates player on the NL All-Star team.

Now that catcher Jason Kendall has been traded to Oakland, the
only Pirates with multiyear contracts are Wilson, reliever Salomon
Torres and right-hander Mark Redman.

Reliever Arthur Rhodes, who has two years left on his contract,
was traded to Cleveland for outfielder Matt Lawton shortly after
being acquired in the Kendall trade.