Rockies send Ubaldo Jimenez to Indians

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CLEVELAND (AP) - In the middle of a surprising season, the Cleveland Indians are getting an ace rather than trading one away.

The Indians acquired Ubaldo Jimenez from the Colorado Rockies for three minor leaguers and a player to be named.

The trade, contingent on the 2010 All-Star passing a physical Sunday, is a bold gamble by the Indians‘ first-year general manager Chris Antonetti.

The Indians, 1 1/2 games behind Detroit in the AL Central, have gone all in to try to win the division for the first time since 2007 after making their second trade of the night and third in three days.

Also Saturday night, Cleveland dealt infielder Orlando Cabrera, who lost his starting job to rookie Jason Kipnis last week, to San Francisco for Triple-A outfielder Thomas Neal. On Thursday, they sent two minor leaguers to the Chicago Cubs for veteran outfielder Kosuke Fukudome.

To obtain Jimenez, Cleveland gave up right-handers Alex White and Joe Gardner and first baseman-outfielder Matt McBride.

Left-hander Drew Pomeranz, one of Cleveland’s top pitching prospects, was pulled from his start at Double-A Akron. He did not sign with Cleveland after being drafted last year until the signing deadline of Aug. 16. No drafted player can be dealt until one calendar year after signing.

The Indians traded Cy Young winners CC Sabathia in 2008 and Cliff Lee in 2009 for a group of prospects, some of which have helped Cleveland go from 90-plus losses the past two seasons to contenders.

Matt LaPorta, the key player in the Sabathia deal, delivered a two-out, three-run homer to cap Cleveland’s four-run ninth for a 5-2 win over Kansas City.

The Indians would not comment on the deal until after results of the physical on Sunday.

“This was a very difficult decision for us to make,” Rockies general manager Dan O’Dowd said in a statement released by the team. “Our focus with this deal was to make our team better in the very near future and we feel like we were able to do that in this situation.

“We believe the timing of this deal also allowed us to maximize the value we were able to get in return.”

The offensively challenged Indians beefed up an already formidable pitching staff by getting Jimenez, who was pulled from his scheduled start Saturday in San Diego after one inning.

The right-hander gave up four runs on four walks and two hits to the Padres, making 45 pitches. He went to the dugout and spoke with manager Jim Tracy, then accepted handshakes and hugs from what are now his former teammates.

Jimenez was smiling and later told reporters he had been traded to Cleveland.

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