CLEVELAND — Editor's note: the video in the player above is from a previous story.
If there was any question as to whether the Cleveland Indians would be buyers or sellers ahead of Friday's trade deadline, it was answered on Thursday. In a move indicating the latter, the Indians have agreed to trade second baseman Cesar Hernandez to Chicago White Sox in exchange for minor league pitcher Konnor Pilkington.
Acquired by the Indians as a free agent ahead of the 2020 season, the 31-year-old Hernandez has served as Cleveland's primary second baseman for each of the past two seasons. The switch-hitter has also been one of the Indians' more consistent batters this season, ranking third on the team in home runs (18) and second in RBI (47) and OPS (.738).
But with injury-plagued Cleveland now sitting 8.5 games back of the White Sox in the American League Central Division standings and five games back of the second spot in a crowded American League Wild Card race with a 50-49 record, Hernandez appeared to be one of the Indians' most likely candidates to be traded ahead of Friday's trade deadline. In trading its primary second baseman, Cleveland will now have the ability to get an extended look at a number of young infielders before the end of the 2021 season, including Ernie Clement, Andres Gimenez and Owen Miller.
As for Pilkington, the 23-year-old left-hander was selected by the White Sox in the third round of the 2018 MLB Draft. In 14 appearances (all starts) for Double-A Birmingham this season, he has amassed a 4-4 record, 3.48 ERA and 71 strikeouts.