Report: Cubs claim ChiSox outfielder Podsednik off waivers

CHICAGO -- Scott Podsednik helped the Chicago White Sox end
a long championship drought. He may soon be in position to do the
same for the Cubs.

The Chicago Tribune, citing a major league source, reported on
its Web site Friday that the Cubs claimed Podsednik off waivers. The
White Sox had two business days to work out a trade with the Cubs,
simply let him go to the North Side team or pull him off waivers.

The Cubs, who began the day a half-game behind Milwaukee in the
NL Central, could use a leadoff hitter and left fielder, with
Alfonso Soriano nursing a torn quad muscle. Podsednik would fill
those needs, although he would not provide the power.

Cubs general manager Jim Hendry could not immediately be reached
for comment.

White Sox assistant general manager Rick Hahn would not comment
on Podsednik's situation or say how many players the team had on

"I don't think any club would place just one player that
they're looking to trade on waivers because then it would be
obvious to other clubs what your intention is or how you view a
specific player," Hahn said. "The fact that a specific player was
or was not placed on waivers or was claimed by a club is not
indicative of the likelihood of a deal."

Podsednik didn't want to get involved in any conjecture.

"The game is hard enough without concerning yourself with
outside business that's going on," said Podsednik, who was batting
.262 with seven steals entering Friday's game against Seattle.
"First and foremost, we don't control that."

A catalyst in 2005, when the White Sox won their first
championship since 1917, Podsednik had been dropped from first to
seventh in the batting order. He was in the lineup Friday, after
being limited to 34 games due to injuries.

He underwent surgery to repair a sports hernia in the offseason
for the second straight year, but injuries continued to plague him.
He spent two months on the disabled list because of a strained
adductor muscle early in the season and went back on the DL in July
because of a strained left ribcage muscle.

At the time, manager Ozzie Guillen called Podsednik
"unreliable," but he took a different stance on Friday.

"I never will say that about my players," Guillen said. "A
lot of people have a ring on their fingers because of him. When
that came out, I had a meeting with my team and expressed, myself,
what I really meant and the way it came out."

Acquired from Milwaukee in the Carlos Lee deal in December 2004,
Podsednik batted .290 with 59 steals -- second most in club history
-- and he supplied one of the most memorable moments of the
postseason in 2005. He hit a game-ending homer off Brad Lidge in
Game 2 of the World Series, and the White Sox went on to sweep
Houston for their first championship since 1917.

But he's had trouble staying healthy.

Podsednik missed two weeks in 2005 with a strained left
adductor. He appeared in 139 games last season but batted .261 with
40 steals.

The Cubs, seeking their first championship since 1908, began the
day 59-55 and were tied for fourth in the wild-card race after a
slow start this season.