Shortstop traded for second time this season
CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs acquired infielder Tony Womack from the Colorado Rockies on Tuesday for minor league pitcher Enmanuel Ramirez, strengthening their infield depth for a possible playoff run.
Womack spent 4½ seasons with the Arizona Diamondbacks, but became expendable because of the strong showing of young infielders Matt Kata and Alex Cintron, along with the return of Craig Counsell. He was traded to the Rockies on July 18 for pitcher Mike Watson.
Womack is in the final year of his contract, earning $6 million, half of it deferred. He batted .237 with 15 RBI and eight stolen bases in 61 games for the Diamondbacks this season. He then appeared in 21 games for Colorado and hit .190 (15-for-79).
This season, in a combined 82 games for Arizona and Colorado, Womack has batted .225 with 2 homers, 20 RBI and 11 steals. He ranks among the NL leaders in both infield hits (20) and bunt hits (13).
Womack could settle in at second. Chicago's Mark Grudzielanek has been on the disabled list with a broken bone in his hand and is expected back by the end of the month.
While with the Diamondbacks, Womack sprained his knee in a game at Detroit on June 28, forcing him to the disabled list. After an injury rehab stint at Double-A El Paso, he was reinstated to the active list July 18 and then traded.
Womack has played with Pittsburgh (1993-1998), Arizona (1999-2003) and Colorado (2003). In 1,001 big league games, he has batted .270 with 30 homers, 308 RBI and 307 steals.
He's also appeared in 23 postseason games during his career, going to the playoffs in 1999, 2001 and 2002 with the Diamondbacks. In Game 7 of the 2001 World Series, his ninth-inning double off the Yankees' Mariano Rivera knotted the game at 2-2 and put Arizona's eventual winning run at third base.
Ramirez, a 23-year-old right-hander, has seen action at both Class-A Daytona and Double-A West Tenn this season. He opened the season as a reliever at Daytona, going 2-0 with a 3.14 ERA in 11 games. After being promoted to Double-A in mid-June, he appeared in 22 games for West Tenn and was 3-1 with a 2.01 ERA.
Womack was scheduled to join the Cubs on Tuesday in Houston where Chicago begins a three-game series with the first-place Astros. The Cubs are a half-game out of first and only a half-game ahead of St. Louis.
The Cubs announced Tuesday they had activated outfielder Tom Goodwin from the 15-day disabled list (hamstring) and sent utility infielder Augie Ojeda to Triple-A Iowa.
Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press