Just days before the opening of the 2017 Atlantic League season, the York Revolution has lost a player expected to be a key cog in this year's team.
Veteran infielder Josh Wilson has signed with the Texas Rangers, it was announced by Revs manager Mark Mason on Tuesday afternoon. Wilson is expected to join the Triple-A Round Rock Express as he eyes a return trip to the major leagues.
That came after Wilson earlier signed to return to the York Revolution for a second season.
York's 2017 regular season starts at 6:35 p.m. Friday at the New Britain Bees. The Revs' home opener at PeopleBank Park is 6:30 p.m. Friday, April 28, against the Somerset Patriots.
Despite losing a pivotal player, Mason wasn't upset about the situation.
“I’m really excited for Josh,” Mason said. “I believed he should have had an infield job in the big leagues, and I’m very happy for him to have a chance to pursue that. He came here and was a consummate professional for us and put himself in position to have this opportunity. That’s what our league is all about.”
An eight-year major league veteran, Wilson was in the big leagues as recently as 2015 with the Detroit Tigers, batting .316 in 21 games played. The Pittsburgh native then spent all of the 2016 season with York, where he was the Revs’ everyday shortstop, batting .255 with eight home runs and 39 RBIs in 120 games played and ranking tied for eighth in the Atlantic League in doubles with 28.
Wilson has appeared in 431 major league games with nine different teams, having played for the then-Florida Marlins (2005), Washington Nationals (2007), Tampa Bay Rays (2007), Arizona Diamondbacks (2009, 2011, 2013), San Diego Padres (2009), Seattle Mariners (2009-2010), Milwaukee Brewers (2011), Texas Rangers (2014), and Detroit Tigers (2015). He has enjoyed three separate stints with Arizona and will now set his sights on cementing a second stint with Texas, having played for the Rangers just two years before coming to York. He is a .229 hitter in the big leagues with 10 home runs, 54 doubles, seven triples, and 84 RBIs.
In the minors, Wilson has logged an additional 1,529 games played and is a .272 hitter with 101 home runs. He had played at the Triple-A or major league level in 12 consecutive seasons from 2004 to 2015.
Now in his 19th pro season, the 36-year-old was originally a third-round draft pick of the Marlins out of Mount Lebanon (Pennsylvania) High School in 1999, where he was named the State Player of the Year, helping guide his team to a state championship.
Wilson is the first member of the 2017 Revs to earn a contract with a major league organization. He will look to become the ninth in Revs history to go from York to the major leagues and second to do so with the Rangers. Left-handed pitcher Ryan Feierabend (York ’12) appeared with Texas in 2014.