The Indians are definitely doing more adding than subtracting at the moment, but they’ve decided Orlando Cabrera is expendable and they traded him to the Giants for outfielder Thomas Neal.
Danny Knobler of CBSSports.com and Hank Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle had the initial reports.
Cabrera had hit just .244/.277/.321 while serving as the Indians’ primary second baseman for most of the first four months. He had recently lost time to rookie Jason Kipnis, and he figured to see his role scaled back further. With Cabrera out of the picture, the Indians could bring back either Cord Phelps or Luis Valbuena from the minors.
The Giants will likely shift Cabrera back to his natural position of shortstop. He probably won’t be an everyday guy, but he should be able to help out, particularly against lefties in a job share with Mike Fontenot. One wonders if Miguel Tejada will be released to make room for him.
Neal, 23, is a fringe prospect. He had a big year at Single-A San Jose in 2009, but he posted a .799 OPS in Double-A in 2010 and a .761 mark in the PCL so far this year. He projects as a fourth outfielder at best in the majors, and he probably won’t make a significant contribution this year.
Update (12:58 AM ET): Per Henry Schulman of the San Francisco Chronicle, Samardzija has been diagnosed with a strained pectoral muscle. He’ll be shut down for a week. That’s good news for the Giants, considering the alternatives.
Giants starter Jeff Samardzija will undergo an MRI on his ailing right shoulder, according to NBC Sports Bay Area. The right-hander struggled in a minor league game on Wednesday, surrendering a pair of home runs and hitting a batter. Overall this spring, Samardzija has given up 15 runs (13 earned) on 17 hits (six homers) and seven walks with seven strikeouts in 11 innings.
This may mean Samardzija won’t be ready for the start of the regular season. Derek Holland would likely replace Samardzija in the rotation. Holland had been competing for the No. 5 spot in the Giants’ rotation.
Samardzija led the National League in losses last season with 15, also posting a 4.42 ERA with a 205/32 K/BB ratio in a league-high 207 2/3 innings. Since becoming a starter, Samardzija has been able to avoid injury, making 32 or 33 starts in each of the last five seasons.