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Pirates trade Enrique Wilson to Yankees

Joe Rutter
| Wednesday, June 13, 2001

DETROIT - Interim general manager Roy Smith couldn't take credit for the trade he made Wednesday, the first completed by the Pirates since Cam Bonifay's firing.

'This was one of those things on Cam's plate that was going to happen,' Smith said after trading infielder Enrique Wilson to the New York Yankees for minor-league left-handed reliever Damaso Marte.

Before he was fired Monday, Bonifay had been shopping Wilson, who failed to hit in a regular role and was batting .186 in 46 games.

'We had been talking to the Yankees, who expressed interest in Enrique,' Smith said. 'I follow the Yankees as a matter of course, and we were able to get something done.'

Smith spent the weekend at his family's home in New York, a short commute from Norwich, Conn. That's the site of the Yankees' Class AA farm team, where the 26-year-old Marte was pitching.

'I was there anyhow, so I spent a few days watching their team, and he was one of the guys who stood out,' Smith said.

Smith selected Marte from a list of players submitted by Yankees general manager Brian Cashman.

In 23 appearances, Marte was 3-1 with a 3.50 ERA. He had 36 strikeouts and seven walks in 36 innings.

'He was throwing in the low 90s, with a decent breaking ball,' Smith said. 'We've been trying to add left-handed depth. That, combined with his arm strength, made it look like a good fit.'

Marte will be assigned to Class AAA Nashville so he can work with pitching coach Darold Knowles.

Marte was signed by the Seattle Mariners as a non-drafted free agent in 1992. He appeared in five games with the Mariners in 1999, going 0-1 with a 9.35 ERA.

Marte made only six appearances last season because of a left elbow strain. He signed with the Yankees as a minor-league free agent in November.

Wilson, a 25-year-old switch-hitter, batted .160 after replacing Jack Wilson at shortstop of May 6. With Jack Wilson's recall Tuesday, Enrique Wilson's days with the Pirates were numbered.

'He got into a funk and couldn't get ouf of it,' Pirates manager Lloyd McClendon said. 'He had more left-handed at-bats than we probably should have given him. We tried to make him an everyday player, and it didn't work out. He'll be a fine utility player and should benefit the Yankees.'

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