CLEVELAND (AP) — With the NL East still up for grabs, the Atlanta Braves needed another quality hitter for the season’s second half.
The Indians had one to offer.
Cleveland made its second significant trade in two days, sending outfielder Eddie Rosario to the Braves for infielder Pablo Sandoval on Friday.
Rosario signed a one-year, $8 million free agent contract this winter with the Indians, who essentially signaled surrender in the AL Central on Thursday by dealing second baseman Cesar Hernandez to the first-place White Sox for a minor league pitcher.
The Braves will pay a portion of Rosario’s contract, easing the financial burden on the Indians, who have been ravaged by injuries and are quickly fading from the playoff chase.
Atlanta’s been in the market to bolster its lineup since losing its best player when All-Star outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr. suffered a season-ending knee injury while trying to make a leaping catch earlier this month.
The Braves also acquired outfielder Adam Duvall from Miami on Friday.
The Indians have begun looking toward next season. They trail Chicago by eight games entering a weekend series between the teams. Also, manager Terry Francona has stepped down for the rest of this season to address some serious health issues.
Chris Antonetti, the club’s president of baseball operations, expected the club to be busy leading into Friday’s trading deadline and it’s possible he’ll make other moves.
The 29-year-old Rosario has been on the injured list since July 6 with an oblique strain, and isn’t quite ready to return. He’s batting .254 with seven homers and 46 RBIs in 78 games.
Rosario gives the Braves another proven hitter with postseason experience. He has a career 275 hitter in seven seasons, six with Minnesota.
Sandoval has been mainly used as a pinch-hitter by the Braves. It’s still not known if the 34-year-old will be added to Cleveland’s roster.
Sandoval, who was the World Series MVP in 2012 for San Francisco, has four pinch-hit homers this season, and is batting .178 with 11 RBIs in 69 games.
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