The Cleveland Guardians traded shortstop Amed Rosario to the Los Angeles Dodgers for pitcher Noah Syndergaard and cash considerations on Wednesday in a deal that addresses major needs for both contending clubs.
Rosario has been a valuable, versatile player for the defending AL Central champions the past few years. The 27-year-old is returning to the National League after spending three seasons with the New York Mets before going to Cleveland in the blockbuster trade for Francisco Lindor after the 2020 season.
The Guardians’ surplus of young middle infielders made Rosario expendable. He’s batting .265 with six triples, three homers and 40 RBIs this season. But he was in his final contract year and eligible for free agency this winter.
Rosario has been the subject of trade speculation for months, and Wednesday he sat out Cleveland’s 8-3 win over Kansas City. Rookie Gabriel Arias started at shortstop and had two hits.
Tyler Freeman and Bryan Rocchio are also potential long-term fits at shortstop for the Guardians.
The move shores up the Dodgers’ current issues at the position.
All-Star Mookie Betts has played some short, but he’s the team’s primary right fielder. The Dodgers found themselves in need after Gavin Lux went down with a season-ending knee injury in spring training and Miguel Rojas has struggled offensively at the spot.
Cleveland, which trails first-place Minnesota by two games, needed to add a pitcher with starters Shane Bieber, Triston McKenzie and Cal Quantrill all dealing with injuries.
The 30-year-old Syndergaard might be able to eat up some innings for Cleveland — if he’s healthy. He’s been on the injured list with a blister on his right index finger since early June and pitching in rehab games for Triple-A Oklahoma City.
Syndergaard, who was once one of the game’s rising pitching stars before injuries, signed a one-year deal with the Dodgers before the season and posted a 7.16 ERA in 12 starts.
The Guardians have been leaning on rookies Tanner Bibee, Gavin Williams and Logan Allen and the club needs to closely monitor their workloads down the stretch.
AP Sports Writer Beth Harris in Los Angeles contributed to this report.