Busy at deadline, Indians trade OF Eddie Rosario to Braves

Braves

FILE – Cleveland Indians’ Eddie Rosario runs the bases after hitting a solo home run in the third inning of a baseball game against the Baltimore Orioles in Cleveland, in this Thursday, June 17, 2021, file photo. The Cleveland Indians made their second significant trade in two days, sending outfielder Eddie Rosario to the Atlanta Braves for infielder Pablo Sandoval on Friday, July 30, 2021. (AP Photo/Tony Dejak, File)

CLEVELAND (AP) — Eddie Rosario had moments for the Indians. Not nearly enough of them.

Reshuffling its roster with an eye toward the future with several deals before the trading deadline Friday, Cleveland traded Rosario to the Atlanta Braves, who needed another quality hitter to make a run for the NL East.

The Indians got veteran infielder Pablo Sandoval, and immediately released the 2012 World Series MVP. Cleveland is sending Atlanta $500,000 as part of the trade.

It was Cleveland’s second significant trade in two days. On Thursday, the Indians essentially signaled surrender in the AL Central by dealing second baseman Cesar Hernandez to the first-place White Sox for a minor league pitcher. The Indians made two other smaller deals on Friday.

Rosario signed a one-year, $8 million free agent contract this winter with the Indians. They were hoping the outfielder would hit for them the way he did with the Minnesota Twins, but Rosario was injured and never got rolling.

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.

“Eddie got off to a tough start,” said Chris Antonetti, the Indians’ president of baseball operations. “We saw stretches prior to him getting injured where he started to heat up, but then, unfortunately, went on the injured list with the oblique.”

“We just never did get to see the best of Eddie,” Antonetti said. “I do think he’s going to go over to Atlanta and be able to help them for the last month and a half for the season once he’s ready to come off the injured list.”

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.

Antonetti, the club’s president of baseball operations, expected the club to be busy and they were one of the teams which made several moves.

“They all feel busy, but today was nonstop,” Antonetti said. “We went all the way down to the wire. We executed a number of trades but there were probably at least another dozen other ones that we contemplated seriously at different points in time and exchanged different ideas.

“Some of them we felt we were really close to the finish line on.”

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