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Pirates ship Cordero to Indians for Alex Ramirez, Wilson

Saturday, July 29, 2000

By Paul Meyer, Post-Gazette Sports Writer

The Pirates last night traded left fielder Wil Cordero and the rest of his three-year, $9 million contract to the Cleveland Indians for outfielder Alex Ramirez and switch-hitting infielder Enrique Wilson.

 
Traded: Pirates outfielder Wil Cordero. (Peter Diana, Post-Gazette) 

Ramirez and Wilson, both 25, should be here today, although Wilson is on the disabled list with a sprained right wrist.

Wilson will work out with the Pirates and be examined by trainer Kent Biggerstaff, then probably be sent on a rehabilitation assignment with Class AAA Nashville. Wilson was to begin a rehab assignment with Class AAA Buffalo last night.

Ramirez, a right-handed hitter who runs and throws well, will replace Cordero on the Pirates' roster. Ramirez had a .286 batting average, with five home runs and 12 RBIs, in 112 at-bats this season. In 1998 with Buffalo, Ramirez batted .299 with 34 home runs and 103 RBIs.

"And that's not an easy park to hit home runs in," Manager Gene Lamont said. "We need to get power in our outfield. I'm sure Ramirez will get a good, long look. We saw him take batting practice in Cleveland, and he looked like the other Ramirez -- Manny."

Wilson hit .262 in 332 at-bats for the Indians last season. He had a .325 average in 117 at-bats this season.

"Those guys have been up and down in the Cleveland organization," said Brian Giles, whom the Pirates acquired from the Indians after the 1998 season. "They haven't gotten a chance to play much. They were in the same situation I was a couple years ago. They've got talent. They can play. Hopefully, the trade will have the same effect on them that it had on me, and they can relax and be able to help this club out."

Wilson's name has come up in trade talks between the Pirates and Indians for three or four years.

"I remember there was talk of him with Jeff King," Lamont said. "We've always had good reports on him."

"We feel he's a fine defensive player, and he's always hit," General Manager Cam Bonifay said. "We feel this further enhances our ballclub and makes us stronger. We gave up one of the finest pure hitters I've ever been able to witness. We're giving up a quality major-league hitter. Wil did everything we could ask of him."

Wilson's acquisition is interesting. He's primarily a shortstop, but he's also played second base and third base. Might Bonifay have another trade working that would give Wilson a chance to play one of those positions for the Pirates regularly?

"Not particularly, no," Bonifay said. "I couldn't say that. We have some players here now, and we've added depth to our club. We'll let the players decide."

Ramirez is not yet eligible for salary arbitration. Wilson could be after this season, but even so, the Pirates gave themselves plenty of financial flexibility with this trade.

This deal was one of many made in the last several days as teams try to beat the non-waiver trading deadline of 4 p.m. Monday.

"There were a lot of things floating around earlier this season," Bonifay said. "This trade was an evolution of numerous discussions. It seems like there's been more activity this season. I think that's because the race is different and because of injuries. People are trying to make as much hay as they can. They can't afford to lose one game ... or one day."



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