Chicago Cubs Wiretap
The Cubs inquired again Tuesday about center fielder Preston Wilson.
The Rockies have shopped Wilson, a free agent at season's end, but the Cubs have shown the most interest, while also focusing on Oakland's Mark Kotsay.
Two factors emerged that could help accelerate negotiations. Wilson admitted before the game that he would be open to financial concessions to help facilitate a deal. And reliever Todd Wellemeyer, among the prospects the Rockies are seeking, was demoted this past weekend, perhaps influencing his availability.
"I have conversations with a lot of teams," Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd said. "I think you can understand why I can't get into specifics."
Wilson has $6.3 million remaining on his contract, a hefty price that looms large in all discussions. The Rockies want prospects - ideally shortstop Ronny Cede?o, who was called up Tuesday - and approximately $4 million in salary relief. It's hard to accomplish both, which is why Wilson's flexibility could play a role.
"If I have a chance to go win, I would do what it takes to help the team(s) to make that happen," said Wilson, who broke up Roger Clemens' no-hit bid with a 422-foot fourth-inning home run.
Mark Prior allowed only one hit in six innings and retired 18 of his 19 batters Sunday, outpitching Jon Garland to send the Chicago Cubs to a 2-0 victory over the White Sox.
"I felt pretty good," Prior said. "Most athletes know if they're ready or not."
Corey Patterson's solo homer in the sixth broke a scoreless tie for the Cubs, who took two of three on the road to split the season series at three games apiece. The White Sox won two of three at Wrigley Field in May.
Making his first start since May 27, when a line drive fractured a bone in his right elbow, Prior (5-1) dominated the White Sox, who have the best record in baseball. He struck out three and did not walk a batter.
After allowing a single to Pablo Ozuna in the third, Prior retired his final 10 batters and erased any doubts about whether he was ready to return.
While he was out, Prior threw two simulated games but did not make any minor league rehabilitation starts.
"After the first simulated game, I didn't feel ready. After the second one, I did," said Prior, who threw 71 pitches -- 50 for strikes. "I just tried to go out there and throw a good game."
The Chicago Cubs activated right-hander Mark Prior from the 15-day disabled list on Sunday and optioned left-hander Rich Hill to Iowa (AAA).
Prior was placed on the disabled list May 28 with a right non-displaced fracture of the lateral epicondyl.
Rumors of Moises Alou returning to Wrigley this season have quickly been quieted.
The San Francisco Giants outfielder has a $6 million option for 2006, and the Cubs are not interested in picking up that deal.
Alou also told members of the San Francisco media this week that he wants to continue to play with his father, Giants manager Felipe Alou, until he is no longer wanted.
"I'm having a good time," said Austin Kearnes when asked about playing in the minors. "The guys here are good dudes, and it probably was good for me to get away from the bad atmosphere that was in the Reds clubhouse."
And Kearns wonders if maybe another organization might be good for him.
"There comes a time when you want to get established with a team and play every day," he said. "Every time I'm with the Reds, they try to play four or five outfielders. You can't work your way out of any slump because they put you on the bench."
When he was sent down before the Boston series last week, he asked about a trade and was told by General Manager Dan O'Brien there was no interest in him.
"I called him on that because I've heard there is," Kearns said. "When Washington was in town, (Nationals GM) Jim Bowden told both Adam Dunn and me he continues to try to make trades for us."
Bowden, though, has said that his phone calls to the Reds are not returned and his e-mails to the Reds are not answered.
The Chicago Cubs have interest in Kearns, and when the Atlanta Braves were in town, manager Bobby Cox pointedly asked, "What's going on with Kearns and why is in Louisville? I sure like that kid."
Kearns is hitting .346 with five doubles in 26 at-bats in Louisville.
"I'm playing every day and hitting," he said. "As soon as I go back to Cincinnati, I won't play every day. They have the same situation ... too many outfielders. Sure, I'd like to be someplace where I can play every day."
Cubs Jun 2005 Archive