Shortstop signs $8 million deal

Updated: January 7, 2005, 5:46 PM ET
Associated Press

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 appendectomy.

Jack Wilson
Pittsburgh Pirates
157 11 59 82 8 .308

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 contract.

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 1908.

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.

Copyright 2005 by The Associated Press