Notes: C. Wilson used to trade talk

Notes: C. Wilson used to trade talk

SAN FRANCISCO -- According to several published reports, the Cardinals are in hot pursuit of Pirates outfielder/first baseman Craig Wilson as a temporary replacement for injured superstar Albert Pujols.

That Wilson is involved in trade rumors is nothing new -- it's been a semi-annual event for the past two or three seasons. Nor is the trade talk surprising because the Pirates have shown no interest in trying to lock up the free agent-to-be to a long-term deal.

"Going back to spring, there were a multitude of places I was supposed to go. Obviously nothing happened," said Wilson. "We just have to have to wait and see what happens now."

What is different about the latest round of Wilson trade speculation is that he seems to be taking them more seriously. There are no more, "Where I am going today?" jokes with reporters.

Wilson, 29, is clearly not happy about his platoon role in right field with Jeromy Burnitz. He met privately for 30 minutes with Pirates manager Jim Tracy last Sunday to make his case for more playing time. It's not difficult to ascertain that Wilson, despite his deep roots after 5 1/2 seasons with the Pirates, probably wouldn't mind a change in scenery.

"I've got a lot of friends over here, but that's just part of the business aspect of playing," said Wilson. "The No. 1 thing is I want to play."

It is believed that Wilson recently, for the first time in his career, asked the Pirates to trade him. However, when asked directly if Wilson had requested a trade, neither Wilson ("no comment") nor Pirates general manager Dave Littlefield would comment.

"I don't discuss things like that," said Littlefield.

Littlefield did confirm that he was in daily discussions with other GMs, as is always the case in the months leading up to the annual July 31 trade deadline, but he would not divulge any specifics about the interest generated by Wilson.

"At this time of year, there are discussions about a lot of players," he said. "I'm always open-minded about trying to improve the team."

Littlefield also said that he had no problem with Wilson going public about being upset with his reduced playing time.

"The most important thing is to produce. We're always stressing to the players to play well," said Littlefield. "What happens outside of that is not that big of an issue."

Wilson was back in the starting lineup Saturday afternoon against Giants southpaw starter Noah Lowry. He entered the game batting .270 with nine home runs and 26 RBIs.

A day to forget: Salomon Torres was a 21-year-old rookie with the San Francisco Giants when he made his eighth career big-league start on Oct. 3, 1993.

With the National League West Division crown on the line that day, Torres struggled, allowing three runs on five hits and five walks in just 3 1/3 innings of a Giants loss to the Dodgers that eliminated San Francisco from playoff contention.

Much like the fans in Pittsburgh won't let Barry Bonds forget the fact that he wasn't able to nail Sid Bream at the plate in 1992 NLCS, plenty of Giants fans still remind Torres of his 1993 struggles every time he comes back to San Francisco.

"They come to the park and they pay my salary, so they have the right to heckle me," said Torres. "If that's going to make them feel better and get over what happened in 1993, OK. But it's time to move on."

Although Torres said that he treats his outings against the Giants just as he would when facing any other team, the Bucs setup man admits that he is still stung by the blame that was placed on his shoulders after the 1993 loss.

"I don't think I was treated fairly by some of my teammates," said Torres. "And I still don't think I'm being treated fairly by the fans."

Bucs bits: Right-hander Kip Wells, who has been out since having surgery in March to repair a blood clot from below his throwing shoulder, will make his first Minor League rehab start on Saturday night for Class A Lynchburg. ... Third baseman Joe Randa left the Pirates to join their Triple-A Indianapolis club. Randa will play two full games at third base on Sunday and Monday with the Indians. He'll likely be activated from the disabled list on Tuesday.

Down on the farm: Left-hander Tom Gorzelanny, the Bucs' top pitching prospect, dropped his record to 4-5 after allowing four runs -- three earned -- in seven innings on Friday night in Indianapolis' 4-3 loss to Louisville. ... Mike Connelly improved to 6-3 by tossing seven scoreless innings for Double-A Altoona in a 3-0 win over New Hampshire on Friday. ... 2005 top draft pick Andrew McCutchen had two hits for Class A Hickory on Friday to improve his average to .280 in 57 games.

On deck: The Bucs and Giants will conclude their four-game series Sunday afternoon at AT&T Park. Southpaw Paul Maholm (2-5, 4.57 ERA) will take the hill for Pittsburgh against former Pirate Jason Schmidt (6-2, 2.53 ERA).

Ed Eagle is a reporter for This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.