Today in Tribe History: July 26, 2008

The Cleveland Indians announce that utility man Casey Blake was traded to the Los Angeles Dodgers for catching prospect Carlos Santana and minor league pitcher Jon Meloan.

Blake found out about the trade following the team’s 5-4 win over the Minnesota Twins the night before. The versatile veteran improved his batting average to .289 on the season with a 2-for-4 night at the plate against his former team. He was able to arrive in Los Angeles in time to start the second place Dodgers’ game against the Washington Nationals and went 2-for-3 in his debut.

Santana will report to High-A Kinston and hit .352 in 29 games with six homers and 19 RBI while also getting one hit in eight at bats in two games at Double-A Akron. He will spend the 2009 season with the Aeros, hitting .290 with 23 homers and 97 RBI, and will play 57 games at Triple-A Columbus in 2010, batting .316 with 13 homers and 51 RBI before getting the call-up to the Majors. The trip is short-lived, however, as a knee injury will end his season in Boston after just 46 games.

Meloan, who was starting at Triple-A for the Dodgers, was sent to Triple-A Buffalo and was going to be converted to relief work. With three prior MLB games under his belt while with the Dodgers, Meloan will appear in 12 games for the Bisons, earning an 0-1 record with a 4.30 ERA, and two games for the Indians, throwing two scoreless innings. He will be traded the next July to the Tampa Bay Rays for Winston Abreu.

After making the playoffs and losing in heartbreaking style in 2007, the Indians struggled in 2008 and were 45-56 at the time of the trade, 12.5 games out of first and stuck in fourth place. They will finish 81-81 and in third place in the AL Central.

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