July 13, 2005 – Preston Wilson
This trade with the Colorado Rockies was the second trade the Washington Nationals made during their inaugural season in DC. One month earlier, they traded starter Tomo Ohka to the Milwaukee Brewers for second baseman Junior Spivey (only played 28 games with the Nats).
At the time of the Wilson trade, the Washington Nationals were in first place in the NL East by 2.5 games ahead of the Atlanta Braves. In the trade for Preston Wilson, the Rockies got back outfielder J.J. Davis, pitcher Zach Day, and cash.
Wilson had 15 home runs and 47 RBI’s with Colorado in the first half of the 2005 season. But, once the second half got underway, the Washington Nationals lost 11 of their next 14 games and went from being ahead of the Braves to being five back (two out of the Wild Card).
Despite the team’s struggles, Wilson was the team’s best hitter in many categories. The 30-year-old hit .261 with ten home runs and 43 RBI’s in 68 games and had a .329 on-base percentage. But, that season would be his last in DC as Wilson signed with the Astros in January 2006.
As for the players the Rockies got back, Davis never appeared in a big league game for Colorado and Day had a 9.12 ERA in eight games with the Rockies from 2005-06. Even though the Nats didn’t make the playoffs that season, Wilson did help the offense and the team didn’t give up anyone that came back to bite them. I would call that a win for Jim Bowden.
This wasn’t the best trade that Wilson was a part of in his career. Back in May 1998, Wilson was one of three players who went from the Mets to the Marlins when New York acquired now Hall Of Fame catcher Mike Piazza.
Next: Number 4