TOM WITHERS, AP Sports Writer
CLEVELAND (AP) — The Indians found someone to boost their sagging offense. They now have to hope it’s not too late.
After scoring just three runs in three games while being swept in Atlanta, the Indians acquired outfielder Jason Kubel and cash on Friday from Arizona to help their playoff push. Kubel, who hit 30 homers last season but has struggled in 2013, was designated for assignment this week by the Diamondbacks.
In exchange for Kubel, the Diamondbacks will receive a player to be named later or cash.
A left-handed hitter, the 31-year-old joins Cleveland just as it opens a three-game series in Detroit. The Indians trail the AL Central-leading Tigers by 6½ games and are four back in the wild-card chase.
Kubel was struggling in his second season with the Diamondbacks. He batted just .220 with five homers and 32 RBIs in 89 games, and had been reduced to mainly pinch-hitting duties. The Diamondbacks had 10 days to trade, release or put Kubel on waivers.
The Indians went 0-for-18 with runners in scoring position against the Braves, and everyone in Cleveland’s batting order is slumping.
Kubel spent seven seasons in Minnesota before signing as a free agent with Arizona in 2011. He’s making $7.5 million this year with a club option worth $7.5 million for next season.
Also, the Indians signed free agent catcher Kelly Shoppach to a minor league deal and assigned him to Triple-A Columbus.
Shoppach spent four seasons (2006-09) with the Indians after he was acquired in a trade with from Boston. The 33-year-old spent the first 2½ months with Seattle, batting just .196 with three homers and nine RBIs in 35 games before he was released on June 20.
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