CLEVELAND – The Indians stabilized their shaky outfield.
Overrun by injuries to outfielders this season, Cleveland acquired center fielder Leonys Martin from the Detroit Tigers before Tuesday’s deadline in exchange for 21-year-old infield prospect Willi Castro.
The AL Central-leading Indians will also receive right-hander Kyle Dowdy.
While Martin may not be the high-profile name some Indians fans coveted, the 30-year-old Martin is a steady hitter and an above-average fielder who will take away runs for Cleveland’s pitching staff. He leads the league with nine assists.
Martin also gives manager Terry Francona another option in center field with Bradley Zimmer done for the season following shoulder surgery and Tyler Naquin on the disabled list with a hip injury.
The Indians were down to Greg Allen and Rajai Davis as their center fielders. Also, right fielder Lonnie Chisenhall is out with a nagging calf injury.
Martin has twice been on the disabled list this season with a left hamstring injury, but he’s healthy now and he gives the Indians both protection as well as some postseason experience.
The 30-year-old Martin batted .251 with nine homers and 29 RBIs in 336 plate appearances this season for the Tigers, who are 18 1/2 games behind Cleveland. Martin has scored 78 runs in his first season with Detroit.
The Cuban native has a .248 average with 47 homers and 205 RBIs in 699 games with Texas, Seattle, the Chicago Cubs and Tigers.
Martin has a $1.75 million salary, of which the Indians are responsible for $573,925. He has earned $600,000 in bonuses based on plate appearances, and would earn $100,000 each for 350 and each additional 25 through 475 plus $50,000 for 500.
More importantly, he is under club control through next season through arbitration.
Dowdy, 25, is 8-8 with a 4.74 ERA between Double-A Erie and Triple-A Toledo this season.
Castro batted .245 at Double-A Akron with five homers and 39 RBIs.
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