CLEVELAND — The Indians had little choice but to give up Justin Masterson. The trade doesn’t mean they’re going to surrender the season.
“We will never raise the white flag,” Cleveland manager Terry Francona said. “That’s not an option. Anybody who stands next to me in the dugout knows that will never happen.”
Protecting themselves in case the 29-year-old Masterson left as a free agent after the season, the Indians traded the right-hander on Wednesday to the St. Louis Cardinals.
The trade of Masterson could be followed by other moves by the Indians, who entered Wednesday 6½ games behind first-place Detroit in the AL Central and in a scramble with five other teams for the league’s second wild-card spot.
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The Indians could also trade shortstop Asdrubal Cabrera before the deadline. Like Masterson, Cabrera is in the final year of his contract and the Indians have shown little interest in re-signing him. Dealing the two-time All-Star could bring a prospect in return.
In exchange for Masterson, who was scheduled to come off the disabled list later this week, the Indians got outfielder James Ramsey.
• The Boston Red Sox have traded left-hander Felix Doubront to the Chicago Cubs for a player to be named.
The 26-year-old Doubront was 2-4 with a 6.07 earned-run average in 17 games. He began the season in the rotation and was moved to the bullpen in late June.
Meanwhile, Tacoma native Jon Lester was originally scheduled to start for Boston, but the All-Star was scratched while his name is bandied about ahead of Thursday’s trade deadline. As the Red Sox went down in the ninth, fans remaining from the sellout crowd chanted, “Jonny Lester!”