Notes: Cubs sign infielder Wilson

Notes: Cubs sign infielder Wilson

PITTSBURGH -- The Cubs agreed to a one-year contract with infielder Enrique Wilson for the 2005 season on Tuesday.

Chicago optioned infielder Ronny Cedeno to Triple-A Iowa to make room for Wilson and they transferred pitcher Chad Fox to the 60-day disabled list.

"We got Enrique Wilson," Cubs manager Dusty Baker reported. "I haven't really seen him play much since he was with the Pirates when he was first coming up, but I've watched him on TV many times with the Yankees. I know he was a very important part of that Yankees team over there, and hopefully he can bring some of that winning feeling and tradition they had there to help us here.

"I understand he plays third, short and second, and it gives me some more interchangeable parts."

Wilson opened the season with Triple-A Ottawa, in the Orioles' system, where he batted .279 with four doubles, three home runs and eight RBIs in 20 games. He last saw big-league action in 2004, hitting .213 in 93 games for the Yankees.

Wilson is happy to be back in the Major Leagues.

"Yeah, it feels good because I just spent a little bit of time at Triple-A because I didn't make the team with the Orioles," Wilson explained. "I had a good Spring Training, but they decided to keep Chris Gomez in the big leagues. Right now, I'm really happy to be back in the big leagues and trying to do my job."

Wilson, 31, has appeared in 540 career games during his eight-year Major League career with the Indians (1997-2000), Pirates (2000-01) and Yankees (2001-04). He has seen action in every round of the postseason, appearing in 17 total games.

Wilson saw some familiar faces in Aramis Ramirez and Neifi Perez in the Cubs' clubhouse.

"Yeah, I know Ramirez and I played with him two years here in Pittsburgh," Wilson said. "I enjoyed playing with him and I'm glad that I'm back here playing with him and Neifi Perez, too. I've known Neifi for a long time. Right now, I'm [meeting] the guys and trying to do my job."

Wilson was unaware the Cubs were interested in him.

"A little bit surprised," Wilson stated. "I didn't know these guys were going to take me, but I was just trying to find a job in the big leagues. And because they know I can do my job, we'll see what happens."

Cedeno sent out: Cedeno, 22, was recalled on April 21 from Iowa. He batted .313 in 10 games, and he hit his first career home run May 5 off Milwaukee's Gary Glover.

"We reluctantly sent Ronny Cedeno out," Baker said. "This young man is going to be a fine player, but most of us are in this position at some point in time, and it was a tough sell for me when I was coming up his age -- that it was better for me to go back [to the Minors] to play and hone my skills versus playing sparingly [in the Majors]. He'll be back, and when he comes back, hopefully he'll be here for many, many years.

"This young man has a great attitude and great skills. The last thing he told me was, 'Thanks for the opportunity.' You don't hear that too much, especially out of young people."

Cedeno thinks going back to the Minors is the best thing for his development as a player.

"That's good for me," Cedeno said. "They want me to play every day. I have to play hard and do everything there. I'm happy; I got a great opportunity here. If I play every day, I'm going to try and get better and get back soon."

Ramirez in lineup: Ramirez was a late scratch again Sunday with lower-back problems. Jose Macias started in his place. Ramirez was penciled into the Cubs' lineup on Tuesday night in Pittsburgh, and he said he was feeling better.

"I actually do feel a little bit better," Ramirez said. "I'm still sore. I know my team needs me, so I've got to be out there playing."

George Von Benko is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.