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Astros near deal for slugger

Center fielder Wilson looks like club's top target

 

 

By JOSE DE JESUS ORTIZ

Copyright 2006 Houston Chronicle

 

Astros general manager Tim Purpura's hopes for landing a run-producing outfielder may come to fruition today. And if those plans work out, it's most likely free agent center fielder Preston Wilson will land with the National League champions.

 

"I would think within the next 24 hours, we'll know where we stand with everybody," Purpura said Monday at 6 p.m.

 

The Astros now appear to be Wilson's first choice.

 

Purpura had been in negotiations with the representatives for Wilson and Conroe High graduate Jeromy Burnitz. But the Astros are starting to believe their chances of signing Wilson are much better than their chances with Burnitz.

 

Wilson, 31, hit .260 with 25 home runs, 90 RBIs and 148 strikeouts for the Colorado Rockies and Washington Nationals in 2005. All-Star third baseman Morgan Ensberg, who had 36 homers and 101 RBIs, was the only Astro with more RBIs last year than Wilson.

 

He has played center field most of his career. It remains to be seen what would happen with Willy Taveras, the center fielder who was second in Rookie of the Year balloting in 2005.

 

Wilson, who earned $12.5 million in 2005, would likely get a contract worth less per year than the one-year, $6 million offer Nomar Garciaparra spurned from the Astros.

 

But Wilson's stay in Houston could be longer than a year. Both sides are still mulling over contract options for a potential second year.

 

"Things are more positive than not," Purpura said.

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I'd also like to know how he made $12.5 million a season, and what idiot agreed to that contract.

 

 

That was the final season of a heavily backloaded John Henry deal.

 

I guess I'm the only one who thinks this is a good signing for the 'stros. Dead-pull righty hitter like him is built for Houston.

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so jason lane to left field then?

 

 

and does chris burke resume the role of super sub all over the field?

 

I mean its concievable now that jose vizcaino is gone.

 

From Yahoo! Sports...

If the Astros keep Taveras and play Wilson, they would have to move either Lance Berkman or Chris Burke out of left field or Jason Lane from right.

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