Hours before the trade deadline teams take their chances in the final push for October.
Rockies send Ubaldo Jiménez to Indians
In the middle of a surprising season, the Cleveland Indians are getting an ace rather than trading one away.
The Indians acquired Ubaldo Jiménez from the Colorado Rockies for three minor leaguers and a player to be named.
The trade, contingent on the 2010 All-Star passing a physical Sunday, is a bold gamble by the Indians' first-year general manager Chris Antonetti.
The Indians, 1½ games behind Detroit in the AL Central, have gone all in to try to win the division for the first time since 2007 after making their second trade of the night and third in three days.
Also Saturday night, Cleveland dealt infielder Orlando Cabrera, who lost his starting job to rookie Jason Kipnis last week, to San Francisco for Triple-A outfielder Thomas Neal. On Thursday, they sent two minor leaguers to the Chicago Cubs for veteran outfielder Kosuke Fukudome.
To obtain Jiménez, Cleveland gave up right-handers Alex White and Joe Gardner and first baseman-outfielder Matt McBride.
Left-hander Drew Pomeranz, one of Cleveland's top pitching prospects, was pulled from his start at Double-A Akron. He did not sign with Cleveland after being drafted last year until the signing deadline of Aug. 16. No drafted player can be dealt until one calendar year after signing.
Matt LaPorta, the key player in the Sabathia deal, delivered a two-out, three-run homer to cap Cleveland's four-run ninth for a 5-2 win over Kansas City.
The Indians would not comment on the deal until after results of the physical on Sunday.
"This was a very difficult decision for us to make," Rockies general manager Dan O'Dowd said in a statement released by the team. "Our focus with this deal was to make our team better in the very near future and we feel like we were able to do that in this situation."
"We believe the timing of this deal also allowed us to maximize the value we were able to get in return."
The offensively challenged Indians beefed up an already formidable pitching staff by getting Jiménez, who was pulled from his scheduled start Saturday in San Diego after one inning.
The right-hander gave up four runs on four walks and two hits to the Padres, making 45 pitches. He went to the dugout and spoke with manager Jim Tracy, then accepted handshakes and hugs from what are now his former teammates.
Jiménez was smiling and later told reporters he had been traded to Cleveland.
"When I got to the mound, I couldn't even throw a strike because I didn't have my mind on the game," Jiménez said.
The 27-year-old threw a no-hitter against Atlanta in April 2010 on the way to a 19-8 record with a 2.88 ERA and got the nod as starter for the NL All-Star team.
He is only 6-9 with a 4.46 ERA in 21 starts this year.
Jiménez is 56-45 with a 3.66 ERA in 138 games, all but one of them as a starter since arriving in the majors with Colorado in 2006.
White, 22, made his big league debut with Cleveland this year, but went on the disabled list May 21 with a strained right middle finger on May 21. The 15th overall pick in the 2009 draft out of North Carolina is 1-0 with a 3.60 ERA for Cleveland.
The 23-year-old Gardner went 7-8 with a 4.99 ERA at Double-A Akron this year. A third-round choice in 2009 from Cal-Santa Barbara, he was 13-6 with a 2.75 ERA combined in two levels of Class A ball a year ago.
McBride, 26, has split 2011 between Akron and Triple-A Columbus, hitting a combined .279 with 15 homers and 56 RBIs. The 75th overall choice in the 2006 draft as a catcher from Lehigh University, he had shoulder surgery early in his minor league career.
The 22-year-old Pomeranz could give the Rockies the most value if he is the player to be named. Cleveland's first-round pick in 2010, fifth overall, the left-hander began this season at Class A Kinston, going 3-2 with a 1.87 ERA in 15 starts to earn a promotion to Akron. He went 0-1 with a 2.57 ERA in three games with the Aeros.
In 91 innings overall, the former University of Mississippi ace has struck out 112.
Giants Get Orlando Cabrera
On Thursday, San Francisco acquired slugging outfielder Carlos Beltran from the New York Mets for pitching prospect Zack Wheeler. Giants general manager Brian Sabean has been busy again, just as he was in making a handful of risky moves last summer and late in the 2010 season that paid off with the franchise's first championship since moving West in 1958.
The 36-year-old Cabrera is joining his ninth team since 2004. He is expected to take over as San Francisco's regular shortstop with Miguel Tejada on the disabled list until at least Thursday with a lower abdominal strain.
"He is a proven winner," manager Bruce Bochy said of Cabrera. "With Miguel, one of our shortstops going down, we felt like we needed an experienced shortstop who could go out there every day. He was available. It worked out well for us."
Minutes after their dramatic 5-2 win over the Kansas City Royals, the Indians announced they had dealt Cabrera in exchange for Triple-A outfielder Thomas Neal.
It was the smaller of two trades pulled off by the Indians the night before the non-waiver trade deadline, though they had yet to confirm a swap for Colorado Rockies right-hander Ubaldo Jiménez. The ace was pulled from a start in San Diego and said he was heading to the Indians.
Cabrera batted .244 with four home runs and 38 RBIs in 91 games for Cleveland. He scored the tying run as a pinch runner against the Royals.
The 23-year-old Neal hit .295 with two homers and 25 RBIs in 60 games at Triple-A Fresno. He went on the disabled list with a left hand bruise July 17.
The Giants value Cabrera as much for his pedigree as they do for his ability, Bochy said. The 15-year veteran has made six trips to postseason, including last year, when he helped the Reds to their first division championship and postseason appearance in 15 years. He left after the season and signed as a free agent with the Indians.
Furcal to St. Louis?
According to reports from ESPN and the Los Angeles Times, the Dodgers are in serious discussions with the St. Louis Cardinals over a trade that would send LA shortstop Rafael Furcal to the red birds.
Furcal has a no trade option and must approve the deal. He is expected to do so before the non-waiver trade deadline at 1 p.m. PDT on Sunday.
Based on reporting by the Associated Press.