Pirates, Wilson broach contract extension

Shortstop's current deal could expire after this season

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BRADENTON, Fla. -- The Pirates and shortstop Jack Wilson, their most tenured and popular player, have held preliminary talks regarding a contract extension.

The talks were initiated by Wilson early this week, and the team responded by acknowledging its openness toward discussing the matter further deeper into the summer. No one involved with the process would comment.

Wilson's current contract calls for a $7.25 million salary in the coming season and a club option for 2010 worth $8.4 million or a $500,000 buyout.

In all likelihood, given the market downturn across the board, Wilson's salary would have to come down from its current level for the parties to reach agreement. There is no indication that Wilson would -- or would not -- accept a pay cut, but his initiating of the talks is a powerful sign that he wants to remain in Pittsburgh.

Wilson, 31, has been with the Pirates since 2001. He batted .272 with 22 RBIs in 2008, missing nearly half the season to a calf injury.

Dejan Kovacevic can be reached at dkovacevic@post-gazette.com . Catch more on the Pirates at the PG's PBC Blog .


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