Indians acquire bullpen help with Padres' Brad Hand

Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports

The Twins' already slim chances of catching Cleveland in the American League Central race, were dealt a significant blow on Thursday when the Indians acquired lefthanded closer Brad Hand and righthanded reliever Adam Cimber from San Diego.

Hand has been the Padres closer for the past calendar year, after being traded to San Diego from the Miami Marlins, and has been the subject of trade rumors for nearly that length of time as well. The bullpen, which helped the team to the 2016 World Series, remains a strength with Andrew Miller and Cody Allen at the back end. Miller and Allen will be eligible for free agency after the season.

A 27-year-old rookie, Cimber lays claim to a 3-5 record, 3.17 ERA and 51 strikeouts in 42 appearances this season. Some teams felt San Diego was asking too much for the closer past year, when the Padres finished 71-91. Rosenthal reported he signed a three-year, $19.75 million contract with Cleveland with a club option for 2021.

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Antonetti said manager Terry Francona will decide how the new relievers will be used. The Padres, who haven't been to the playoffs since 2006, are last in the NL West, 14 ½ games behind Los Angeles.

Cleveland's pitching staff has been one of the best in baseball anchored by right-hander Corey Kluber.

Mejia, 22, has spent the bulk of this season at Triple A, batting.279 with seven homers and 45 RBIs. The 22-year-old made his big league debut on September 1, playing in 11 games with Cleveland last year and one game this year. Mejia has been playing at Triple-A.

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