CLEVELAND The Cleveland Indians have traded third baseman Casey Blake and cash to the Los Angeles Dodgers for two minor leaguers, a person familiar with the deal told The Associated Press on Saturday.
Blake, who is eligible for free agency following this season, has been dealt for catcher Carlos Santana and right-hander Jonathan Meloan both former Ogden Raptors said the source who spoke on condition of anonymity because the teams are still awaiting approval of the deal from the commissioner's office.
The Dodgers (50-52), who entered Saturday one game behind the first-place Arizona Diamondbacks in the NL West, were looking to add a dependable bat for the stretch run. Blake, who is batting .289 with 11 homers and 58 RBIs, is also hitting .398 with runners in scoring position. It's the second major trade this month for the Indians, who dealt ace CC Sabathia to Milwaukee for minor league prospects. When Sabathia left, Blake moved into the left-hander's old locker in Cleveland's clubhouse. Now, he's on the move.
Blake brings experience and versatility to the Dodgers. The 34-year-old has played right field, first base and third for the disappointing Indians, who signed him as a minor league free agent in 2002. He struggled at the plate with runners in scoring position last year, batting just .190. Blake was often a target of Indians fans, who never seemed to appreciate his all-around value.
This season, Blake was one of Cleveland's most reliable players. He signed a $6.1 million contract at the start of the season, and the Iowa native has said he would like to finish his career with the Indians.
The Indians came within one win of the World Series last year and were favored to defend their AL Central title. But costly injuries and underachievement by some of their top players dropped them back in the division and forced general manager Mark Shapiro to begin retooling for the future.
CARDS SET TO GET CARPENTER BACK SOON: The suddenly slumping Cardinals, trying to stay in contention in the NL Central, expect to get a boost from within just before the trade deadline.
Chris Carpenter, out since opening day 2007 because of an elbow injury, is scheduled to return to the St. Louis rotation Wednesday against Atlanta, manager Tony La Russa said Saturday.
MLB SUSPENDS 2 MORE MINOR LEAGUERS: Two minor leaguers playing in the Venezuelan Summer League were suspended 50 games each Saturday after testing positive for a performance-enhancing substance under baseball's minor league drug program.
Tampa Bay outfielder Jonathan Quinonez and New York Mets pitcher Yeiger Sanchez both tested positive for metabolites of nandrolone, according to Major League Baseball. Nandrolone is an anabolic steroid.
FDNY: SERIOUS INJURY IN FALL AT SHEA: A fan plunged about 25 feet off a Shea Stadium elevator and was seriously hurt during Saturday's New York Mets game less than four months after another spectator was killed in a similar fall, police and the team said the fan, a 26-year-old man, fell from the box seat level to a floor near the stadium's Gate D around 10 p.m. Saturday, as the Mets played the St. Louis Cardinals, police Det. Brian Sessa said.
JAYS' MCGOWAN SEASON IS OVER: Blue Jays right-hander Dustin McGowan will have season-ending surgery Thursday to repair fraying of the labrum in his shoulder.
McGowan, who is 6-7 with a 4.37 ERA in 19 starts, has not pitched since leaving a July 8 game against Baltimore after four innings, saying that the ongoing pain had become too much to bear. He was placed on the 15-day disabled list the next day.
Last September, an MRI revealed McGowan had a partial tear in his rotator cuff. Tests done this month revealed no further damage, but Blue Jays general manager J.P. Ricciardi said Saturday doctors will take a closer look when they operate on McGowan.