(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
SAN DIEGO (AP) With an eye on October and beyond, the AL Central-leading Cleveland Indians scooped up All-Star closer Brad Hand and fellow reliever Adam Cimber from the rebuilding San Diego Padres in exchange for switch-hitting catching prospect Francisco Mejia.
The Indians need Hand, a lefty, and Cimber, a rookie right-handed sidearmer, to shore up a bullpen that has been without left-hander Andrew Miller since late May and has a 5.28 ERA, second-worst in the majors. The trade was announced Thursday, well ahead of the non-waiver trade deadline.
"Not just for this year, that's kind of obvious, but having two controllable relievers, I just think it makes our organization healthier," manager Terry Francona said Thursday night before a workout in Arlington, Texas, where the Indians start after the All-Star break. "We've got eight years' worth of relief. That's pretty exciting."