The Cleveland Indians bolstered their struggling bullpen on Thursday with the acquisition of San Diego Padres closer Brad Hand, a source told ESPN, confirming multiple reports. Cleveland sent prized catching prospect Francisco Mejia back to San Diego in the trade. Rosenthal reported he signed a three-year, $19.75 million contract with Cleveland with a club option for 2021. A 13.2 K/9 rate across 44.1 innings on the season, Hand has established himself as one of the premier left-handed relievers in the game.
An All-Star in each of the past two seasons, Hand has amassed a 3.05 earned run average to go along with 65 strikeouts and 24 saves in 41 appearances this season.
The Indians, 52-43, lead the American League Central division by 7 1/2 games over Minnesota and are chasing their first World Series title since 1948.
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Cimber should also be a member of future Cleveland bullpens. Cimber, a right-hander, has a 3.17 ERA in 42 appearances this season. He's in his rookie season, meaning he can't qualify for free agency for another five seasons.
Mejia, 22, has spent the bulk of this season at Triple A, batting.279 with seven homers and 45 RBIs. I certainly would have loved to have him on the Cubs, but I never saw a trade fit, given that the Cubs didn't really have the prospect pieces to get him, and I don't think you could justify trading big league guys for Hand at this point.