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05/08/08 4:51 PM ET

Indians trade Michaels to Pirates

Tribe acquires player to be named for struggling outfielder

NEW YORK -- The Indians found a trading partner for Jason Michaels.

Michaels was shipped to the Pirates on Thursday for a Minor League player to be named later. The outfielder had been designated for assignment by the Tribe on Tuesday to make room for Ben Francisco.

The Indians owed Michaels $2.15 million this season, and it appears as though they will continue to assume the bulk of that contract. The Tribe had signed Michaels to a two-year deal before the '07 season.

Michaels' ousting was the first major move by an Indians team trying to get its struggling offense going. The 32-year-old Michaels, who platooned with David Dellucci in left field and started against left-handed pitching, was batting .207 with a .258 on-base percentage and .276 slugging percentage.

The Indians first acquired Michaels in a trade with the Phillies before the 2006 season. Cleveland tried him out as a replacement for Coco Crisp as the starter in left field before making him a platoon player in '07.

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