Cleveland – The Cleveland Indians probably wouldn’t be able to catch the Chicago White Sox at the AL Central table, so they chose to help their squad rival.
Cleveland sent Venezuelan second baseman Cesar Hernandez to the No. 1 White Sox on Thursday in exchange for junior pitcher Conor Pilkington — a trade that appears to signal the Indians’ abdication of the squad.
“We’ve made the trade that we thought made the most sense for us and that’s the direction we’re going,” said Chris Antonetti, India’s head of sports operations. “While we try to be realistic in assessing our situation, we will continue to do everything in our power to win as many matches as possible.
“But the truth is that the White Sox has a lot of games ahead of us and we’re trying to improve. If they don’t get Cesar, we’re very confident that they’ll get another talented player from another team.”
The White Sox, who lead 8.5 games over the Indians and start a streak against them on Friday, have been searching for a second starting man since early season starter Nick Madrigal tore his hamstring, ending his season on June 10.
The exchange between departments created a strange situation. With the Indians playing this weekend in Chicago, the team agreed to transfer Hernandez’s side before facing the Venezuelan for the first time.
With the arrival of Hernandez, Chicago welcomes a Golden Glove defender who is able to initiate fouls and lead in the running for manager Tony La Russa. The 31-year-old Venezuelan wrestles 0.231 in his second season with the Indians, with eight homers and 47 RBIs in 96 matches.
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