Lackluster Indians acquire Cubs' Fukudome

Tim Brown

Their impressive start giving way to back-to-back losing months and their offense sagging under the losses of Shin-Soo Choo(notes) and Grady Sizemore(notes), the Cleveland Indians on Thursday agreed in principle to acquire Chicago Cubs outfielder Kosuke Fukudome(notes).

Hours after being no-hit by Ervin Santana(notes), and days after being spurned by Carlos Beltran(notes), the Indians hoped to boost their batting order with Fukudome, a .273 hitter with occasional gap power.

They were to send the Cubs two prospects and receive cash in return, that going toward softening the price of Fukudome, a free agent at the end of the season earning $13.5 million.

The league has to approve the money and Fukudome has a partial no-trade clause he must agree to waive.

The Indians have been forced to play rookie Ezequiel Carrera(notes) in center field. Travis Buck(notes), batting .228, and Austin Kearns(notes), batting .216, have taken over for Choo in right.

Partly as a result, they have fallen two games behind the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central, having lost 11 of 16 games. They led the division by seven games in late May.

The Indians also would like to add a starting pitcher before Sunday’s trading deadline.

Other popular stories on Yahoo! Sports:
Baseball throw so bad it hits on-deck batter
All-time free-agent bust Albert Haynesworth has second chance
Olympic medal design revealed, could be heaviest ever