The Indians and Braves have announced a deal sending corner outfielder Eddie Rosario and cash considerations to Atlanta in exchange for corner infielder Pablo Sandoval. It’s the first of two outfield pickups on deadline day for the Braves, who reacquired Adam Duvall from Miami as well. Atlanta also picked up Joc Pederson earlier this month as part of an effort to rebuild the outfield in the wake of Ronald Acuña’s ACL tear.
Rosario is currently on the 10-day injured list with an intercostal strain but is expected to return at some point in the coming weeks. Signed to a one-year deal over the offseason, Rosario struggled over his time in Cleveland, hitting .254/.296/.389 with seven home runs in 306 plate appearances. He’d been a slightly to well above-average bat in each of his final four seasons with the Twins, however, and the Braves are clearly betting on a return to that form.
The acquisition cost is minimal. Sandoval has picked up sporadic playing time, serving mostly as a designated pinch-hitter. The 34-year-old is hitting .178/.302/.342 over 86 trips to the plate. He’s almost certainly being included as a salary offset, with about a third of his $1MM figure still to be paid.
For Cleveland, the appeal is in shedding an undisclosed amount of Rosario’s salary. The Indians will cover some of the deal, but Rosario’s $8MM contract still has a little less than $2.8MM to be paid out. The Braves will assume some of that tab to add a lefty bat to their outfield mix while the Indians save some money in a season where they’re no longer competing anyways.