Spurned by Carlos Beltran, the Indians traded for Kosuke Fukudome and hope to keep upgrading their sagging offense.
Cleveland acquired the outfielder from the Cubs for two prospects yesterday, one day after making an offer to the Mets for Beltran, who exercised a no-trade clause in his contract and was instead dealt to the Giants.
“We’re a better team than we were yesterday,’’ Indians general manager Chris Antonetti said. “Kosuke helps us offensively and defensively. Our goal is to improve our run scoring and run prevention and we will continue to pursue all avenues.’’
Fukudome, 34, was hitting .279 with three homers and 13 RBIs in 87 games this season.
Triple A righthander Carlton Smith and Single A outfielder Abner Abreu were shipped to the Cubs. Outfielder Travis Buck was designated for assignment to clear roster room in Cleveland, and the Indians also received cash. Fukudome is being paid $13.5 million in 2011.
Indians outfielders Grady Sizemore and Shin-Soo Choo, two of the young team’s proven players, are both on the disabled list until at least mid-August. Fukudome likely will see the most playing time in right field, then could shift to center when Choo returns.
Rays send Lopez to Brewers The Brewers acquired infielder Felipe Lopez from the Rays for cash.
The move came on the same day the Brewers put All-Star second baseman Rickie Weeks on the 15-day disabled list with a left ankle sprain suffered in Wednesday night’s win against the Cubs.
Manager Ron Roenicke says Weeks may be out two to six weeks.
Gentry on concussion DL Rangers outfielder Craig Gentry has been put on major league baseball’s new seven-day concussion disabled list. Gentry’s helmet came off as he slid headfirst and his neck twisted when he made contact with second baseman Aaron Hill’s leg in the Rangers 3-0 loss to the Blue Jays Sunday. Gentry was stunned briefly, but stayed in after being checked by a trainer . . . Veteran righthander Edwin Jackson, acquired from Toronto in an eight-player trade Wednesday, will start for the Cardinals tonight in the opener of a three-game series against the Cubs. Jackson was 7-7 with a 3.92 ERA this season with the White Sox, who shipped him to Toronto early Wednesday and he was then sent to St. Louis a few hours later . . . The Braves bolstered their bullpen by recalling 26-year-old righthander Anthony Varvaro from Triple A Gwinnett . . . Twins second baseman Alexi Casilla was headed for the disabled list after last night’s game because of a right hamstring strain. Casilla got hurt in the ninth inning Wednesday night while running to second base on his double. Twins trainer Rick McWane said Casilla would be out two to three weeks . . . Mets lefthander Johan Santana made his first start in almost 11 months, throwing three scoreless innings for Single A St. Lucie. Santana threw 33 pitches - 26 for strikes - to get through the three innings against the Daytona Cubs. He allowed two hits, struck out three, and hit a batter. One of the 11 batters Santana faced had a two-ball count. Santana had surgery Sept. 14 to repair a torn anterior capsule in his left shoulder . . . The Mets recalled catcher Mike Nickeas from Triple A Buffalo to fill the roster spot opened up by Beltran’s trade.