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White Sox acquire César Hernández from Indians

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Cleveland deals its starting second baseman to a division rival.

St Louis Cardinals v Cleveland Indians Photo by Ron Schwane/Getty Images

The White Sox acquired second baseman César Hernández from the Indians on Thursday morning in exchange for left-handed pitching prospect Konnor Pilkington:

While the White Sox got Eloy Jiménez back earlier this week and expect to have Luis Robert back very soon, they’ll be without starting second baseman Nick Madrigal for the rest of the season after he underwent surgery to repair a torn hamstring. Utility players Leury García and Danny Mendick have been holding down second base, but this trade gives the White Sox a major league-caliber starter who can play at the position on a daily basis.

Hernández, 31, is hitting .231/.307/.431 with 17 doubles and a career-high 18 homers. He should add some more power to a White Sox lineup that hasn’t really packed much of a punch this year, ranking 25th in the majors with 108 homers.

Pilkington, selected out of Mississippi State in the third round of the 2018 draft, has pitched well at Double-A Birmingham this season, posting a 3.48 ERA with a 0.92 WHIP over 14 starts. He adds some more upper-minors depth to a Cleveland organization that seemingly has finally exhausted its ability to produce quality major league starting pitchers out of thin air. With Zach Plesac back and Shane Bieber and Aaron Civale progressing toward returning to the active roster, the Indians’ rotation crisis is slowly being averted, so Pilkington probably doesn’t fit into the major league mix this season. But he could be a rotation depth option next year.