Color Pittsburgh SS Jack Wilson unimpressed with management’s handling of Oliver Perez and Jason Bay’s contract renewals, writes the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette’s Dejan Kovacevic.
“You look at this and … you kind of wonder what’s going on here,” Wilson said, shaking his head. “It’s unfortunate because those are our two best players. It’s a business, and I know that. You just hope that Ollie and Jason don’t take it the wrong way.”
Perez (above, left) and Bay (right) refused to sign their 2005 contracts by the Wednesday deadline for players with fewer than three years of Major League Baseball experience. As a result, the Pirates exercised their right to renew the contracts at any salary they wished. Perez was renewed at $381,000 for a $60,000 raise, and Bay at $355,000 for a $50,000 raise. Each player had been seeking roughly $100,000 more.
Wilson maintained that the Pirates, who adhere to an internal salary scale for players in that experience category, should have made exceptions for Perez, who had 239 strikeouts last season, and Bay, who was the National League rookie of the year.
“Those guys, as far as what they did last year, should have had more power than any of us,” Wilson said. “One was the rookie of the year, first time that’s been done with the Pirates. And one had two-hundred-freaking-forty strikeouts and was our ace. What they did was 10 times, 20 times, 30 times more than what me or Craig Wilson or Rob Mackowiak did in our first couple years.”
Wilson pointed out that the Pirates plan to showcase Perez and Bay in their advertising for the coming season.
“They’re promoting the heck out of both of them as our star players, which they are,” Wilson said. “The Pirates are going to make a lot of money off of them.”