Former American League rookie of the year Pat Listach has joined the Buffalo Bisons after signing a minor-league contract with the Cleveland Indians.
With the arrival of Listach, 30, it appears the Indians are closer than ever to making a deal for a starting pitcher that would include either Damian Jackson or current Buffalo shortstop Enrique Wilson.
Listach was waived last month by Houston after hitting just .182 with no homers and six RBIs in 52 games. He played the previous five years in Milwaukee and was the 1992 rookie of the year after hitting .290 and stealing 54 bases.
"He can run and play a number of positions," said Buffalo manager Brian Graham, who'll use Listach at second base, shortstop and the outfield.
The newest Indians rumor has the Tribe interested in Chicago Cubs left-hander Terry Mulholland. Chicago scouts were here for most of the last homestand and covet both Jackson, now in Cleveland, and Wilson.
In other trade talk, Philadelphia major-league scout Jimmy Stewart was at the NAP Friday. Cleveland is interested in Phillies pitcher Curt Schilling, but the price is steep. The Phils like Wilson and their other targets are reported to be three ex-Bisons in Cleveland -- outfielder Brian Giles and pitchers Bartolo Colon or Jaret Wright, one of whom would be included in the deal.
Graham said Listach will need a few days to get into game shape before he is added to the roster. The Bisons will then need to make room for him -- or will room be made by Cleveland?
By getting swept in four games this week at Iowa, the Bisons finished 1-8 this year at Sec Taylor Stadium in Des Moines.
It's only the third time in franchise Association history Buffalo won fewer than two games at a road ballpark. The Herd was 0-5 at Iowa in 1989 and 1-8 at Oklahoma City in 1985.
"They're very well-suited for that park," Graham said of the Cubs, who hit 10 home runs in the four games. "They've got a lot of left-handed hitters with power to all fields and they're playing in a short ballpark."
The Cubs entered Friday's play with the second-best home record in the Association (32-15) but were only 23-34 on the road.
The series with Nashville continues tonight at 6 (Radio 550) as Buffalo's Travis Driskill (6-5) meets Nashville's Mike Sirotka (4-4).
Prior to the game, former Bison promoters Mike Billoni and George Daddario will be inducted into the Buffalo Baseball Hall of Fame. After the contest, "Back to the Future" will be shown on a video screen in center field as the feature of Drive-In Movie Night.