08/16/2003 7:09 PM ET
Cubs acquire Simon from Bucs
First baseman expected to platoon with Karros
CHICAGO -- The Chicago Cubs, in need of a left-handed bat, acquired first baseman Randall Simon from the Pittsburgh Pirates on Saturday for minor league outfielder Ray Sadler.
By Carrie Muskat / MLB.com
Simon, 28, has played with Atlanta (1997-99), Detroit (2001-02) and the Pirates (2003). In 412 big-league games, he has batted .298 with 40 homers and 200 RBIs. He has struck out 116 times in 1,293 Major League at-bats.
Simon is expected to platoon with Eric Karros at first base and provide a left-handed bat off the bench. Rookie Hee Seop Choi hasn't provided the offense anticipated since he suffered a concussion in early June.
Choi, named the National League Rookie of the Month in April, was batting .223 overall, but was 11-for-62 since coming off the disabled list June 30. He has four doubles, one homer and six RBIs in that stretch.
The Cubs had tried to acquire Rafael Palmeiro from the Texas Rangers, but he invoked his no-trade clause.
This is the second trade this year that the Cubs have made with the Pirates. On July 22, Chicago acquired Kenny Lofton and Aramis Ramirez for infielder Jose Hernandez, minor league pitcher Matt Bruback and minor league infielder Bobby Hill.
Simon saw his most extensive big-league action in 2002, appearing in 130 games for the Tigers and hitting .301 with 19 homers and 82 RBIs. He was the toughest batter in the American League to strike out, fanning 30 times in 482 at-bats. His .335 batting average at Comerica Park was the third-best home mark among American League hitters.
This season, Simon has appeared in 91 games for the Pirates and was batting .274 with 14 doubles, 10 homers and 51 RBIs. He has batted .293 with runners in scoring position and has fanned 30 times in 307 at-bats.
He also has gone 3-for-15 as a pinch hitter -- including a game-winning walk-off pinch-single Wednesday night to give the Pirates a 6-5 victory over St. Louis. He missed time earlier this year due to stints on the disabled list (June 21-July 7 with a torn ligament in his right hand) and the suspended list (July 10-July 13).
Simon's suspension was a result of him hitting one of the racing sausages at Milwaukee's Miller Park. He also was fined $2,000 for the incident.
He began his professional career in 1992 after being signed as a non-drafted free agent by Atlanta. He rose through the Braves' farm system, reaching the Majors in 1997.
Sadler, 22, was the Cubs' 30th-round choice in the 1999 First-Year Player Draft out of Hill College in Hillsboro, Texas. In 110 games this year for Double-A West Tenn, the right-handed batter has a .291 average, 31 doubles, six homers, 42 RBIs and 17 stolen bases. He is a cousin of Texas Rangers infielder Donnie Sadler.
Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to approval by Major League Baseball or its clubs.