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07/30/11 11:28 PM ET

Tribe send Cabrera to Giants for Neal

Trade veteran second basemen for young outfielder

CLEVELAND -- In a surprise move, the Indians traded veteran infielder Orlando Cabrera to the Giants on Saturday night.

Supplanted at second base by rookie Jason Kipnis, Cabrera saw his playing time diminish recently. Cleveland acquired Minor League outfielder Thomas Neal, who has been optioned to Triple-A Columbus.

Neal is currently on the Triple-A disabled list with a left hand contusion.

Indians general manager Chris Antonetti was not available for comment.

Cabrera, 36, opened the season as Cleveland's starting second baseman, but struggled offensively as the summer wore on. In 91 games for the Indians, Cabrera hit .244 with four home runs and 38 RBIs.

By joining the reigning World Series champion Giants, Cabrera's chances of keeping his impressive postseason streak alive increase. The veteran infielder has reached the playoffs in six of the past seven years with the Red Sox, Angels, White Sox, Twins and Reds.

Cleveland promoted Kipnis -- a highly-touted second base prospect -- from Triple-A Columbus on July 21. With Kipnis manning second a majority of the time, Cabrera became expendable for the Tribe. Cabrera was under contract for $1 million and he will be eligible for free agency this offseason.

Neal, 23, was hitting .295 with two home runs, three triples, 13 doubles and 25 RBIs in 60 games for Triple-A Fresno. Along the way, he posted a .351 on-base percentage with a .409 slugging percentage. Neal is now on Cleveland's 40-man roster.

San Francisco selected Neal in the 36th round of the 2005 First-Year Player Draft.

Jordan Bastian is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Major League Bastian, and follow him on Twitter @MLBastian. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.