Pirates Deal with Cubs

The Cubs traded backup shortstop Cesar Izturis and cash to Pittsburgh today. That could free the Pirates to trade former All-Star Jack Wilson.

Wilson has been Pittsburgh's starting shortstop since 2001. He is the club's longest-tenured position player. He's also the Pirates' highest-paid player at five and a quarter million dollars this season. He's due to make six and a half million dollars in 2008 and seven and a quarter million in 2009.

With the Pirates well on their way to a 15th consecutive losing season, they could be looking to shed Wilson's salary as the July 31st deadline for trading without waivers approaches.

Izturis was an All-Star with the Dodgers in 2005 before his season was cut short by elbow surgery. He joined the Cubs at the trading deadline last season when Chicago dealt Greg Maddux to Los Angeles. The 27-year-old Izturis is in the final year of his contract.