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07/26/08 1:01 PM EST

Dodgers acquire Blake from Indians

LA sends two prospects to Cleveland for veteran infielder

LOS ANGELES -- The Dodgers landed the bat they've been seeking on Saturday, acquiring Cleveland Indians infielder Casey Blake for Triple-A pitcher Jon Meloan and Class A catcher Carlos Santana.

Blake, a free agent after this year, has a salary of $6.1 million, and the Indians will pay all of what remains.

Blake's name surfaced earlier this year when the Dodgers were in talks with the Indians to acquire left-handed pitcher CC Sabathia.

The Dodgers have been looking for a veteran bat at either shortstop, because of the back injury to Rafael Furcal, or at third base, which has been handled this year by rookies Andy LaRoche and Blake DeWitt, whose offense has tailed off badly since June.

The right-handed-hitting Blake, who turns 35 next month, is batting .289 with 11 home runs and 58 RBIs. He has a career batting average of .265, and in five previous Major League seasons has never hit fewer than 17 homers or driven in fewer than 58 runs, with career highs of 28 homers and 88 RBIs.

Meloan, 24, is a right-hander with an unorthodox delivery who pitched briefly for the Dodgers last year in a September call up. He is 5-10 with a 4.97 ERA at Triple-A Las Vegas. He was ranked as the organization's No. 8 prospect by Baseball America entering this season.

Santana, 22, is a slugging switch-hitting catching prospect who currently has 14 homers, 96 RBIs and a .323 average at Inland Empire. He might be considered the key to the deal for the Indians, but with All-Star Russell Martin in the Major Leagues and Lucas May at Double-A, the Dodgers are comfortable with their depth at the position.

Blake appeared headed for a career as a Minor Leaguer. Originally signed by the Toronto Blue Jays, he spent parts of four seasons in Triple-A. In 2000 he was claimed off waivers by the Minnesota, in 2001, he was claimed off waivers by Baltimore and then claimed back by the Twins later that year before becoming a free agent after the 2002 season.

Ken Gurnick is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.